Sierra Leone President Julius Maada Bio on Monday moved to implement a key campaign pledge when he launched his programme of free education for 1.5 million primary and secondary school children starting from September.
“I promised free education during the election and I’m here to implement it,” Bio said during an official launch ceremony.
While no financial details were provided about the overall cost of the scheme, Bio said he would donate three of his monthly salaries to it.
Bio took office in early April after a tumultuous election campaign, ending a decade-long rule by the All People’s Congress (APC).
The president said that the state would cover tuition fees and teaching materials and warned that parents would be fined or even jailed if they did not send their children to school.
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I encourage parents and guardians to provide uniform, shoes and continue their traditional role of home supervision and coaching,” he said.
A special telephone hotline has been set up in case people had any complaints about the implementation of the scheme.
Despite vast mineral and diamond deposits, Sierra Leone’s economy remains fragile and corruption is widespread.
The country is also trying to recover from the social and economic fallout from a long civil war, and more recently, an outbreak of Ebola which killed 4,000 people between 2014 and 2016.
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Tunisian President Beji Essebsi hospitalised.
Nigeria: Residents Cry For Help After Ilorin Flood
Residents of Olunlade Area in Ilorin, Kwara state, complained bitterly about the havoc wrecked by flood on their property as buildings, cars and shops were troubled by heavy downpour.
According to reports, the area experienced a heavy downpour around 4pm on Wednesday which lasted for about three hours.
One of the victims, Mr Femi Olaoye, whose house was taken over by flood, said he was helpless as the water entered his siting room and kitchen.
“I was bitter and sad as there is nothing I could do to stop the flood from entering my house. It was only me and my two children at home. I wept bitterly to witness such terrible occurrence.
“All my electronics were damaged beyond repair. Even the bedroom has turned to swimming pool. I am confused,”
Another resident, Mr Yusuf Taiwo said the flood came as a nightmare to him as his furniture, bookshelf and electronics were destroyed by the flood.
“Even some vital documents that I placed on the floor in my room have been destroyed by the flood.
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