The Government of Sierra Leone, represented by the Ministers of Finance, Higher and Technical Education and Senior and Basic Education, signed the contract for the Civil Works Component with contractors for the Construction and Rehabilitations of Milton Margai Technical University Campuses (Goderich, Congo Cross and Brookfields), Eastern Technical University Bunumbu Campus, Magburaka Boys Government Secondary School, the Prince of Wales and an Administrative building that will house of Ministries of Basic and Higher Education.
This signing ceremony is a critical milestone in the Education Sector Support Project, as alluded to by the Team Lead for Project Fiduciary Management Unit (PFMU), Mr Alpha I. Sesay, who stated that the project started in 2018 through the wisdom of His Excellency the President Retired. Brig. Dr Julius Maada Bio to strengthen Human Capital Development Programme.
He continued that the project is estimated to be $65 Million as support from the international partners and $3 Million as government counterpart funding, stating that the interventions of this project cover new Constructions and Rehabilitations of Technical and Higher Education institutions such as Milton Margai Technical University Campuses (Congo Cross, Goderich and Brook Fields Campus) in the Western Area and Eastern Technical University Bunumbu Campus in the Eastern Province.
He also mentioned that the Basic and Senior Secondary School includes Prince of Wales Secondary School in Kington Western Area, Magburaka Boys Secondary School in the North, Bo Government Secondary School in the South and Kenema Government Secondary School in the East Region.
The Project Coordinator, Ing. Nielford Rose, highlighted that the project would rehabilitate 134 buildings, 61 new buildings constructed for the two Tertiary Institutions and Two Schools, including the Education Building, to be completed within 12 months commencing 15th June 2023.
He further stated that this signing covers lots 1,3,4 and 5 and that Lot 2, which deals with Government Secondary Schools In Bo and Kenema, will be signed as soon as possible for the construction to commence.
The Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary School, Dr David Sengeh, thanked the project team and informed his audience that the Government has constructed over 1000 classrooms. With the help of development partners, the Government is trying to improve efficiency and quality.
He further admonished the contractors to work within the project’s time frame so that the buildings would serve their intended purposes.
The Minister of Higher and Technical Education, Alpha Tejan Wurie, said education transformation is critical to any country’s success. And that the number of candidates going for the WASSCE increases every year, therefore, stating the need for tertiary education institutions to cater to the growing demand.
The Minister of Finance Sheku Fantamadi Bangura commended the effort of the development partners for providing the funds BADEA Committed $ 20M, OPEC Fund Int’l Dev (OFID) $20M, Saudi Dev Fund (SDF) $25M AND Gosl Counterpart funding $ 3M.
He noted that the Government is working to meet the SDGs target. And he further admonished the contractors to take their job seriously and work to meet the stipulated project time.
A representative from the Contractor, Thomas Daddy Brima, thanked the Government for the confidence and promised to deliver the project within the timeframe.
He also admonished fellow contractors to treat the project as a service to the nation by contributing to Sierra Leone’s education development.
This project, upon completion, will aim at contributing to achieving objective number 4 of the Sustainable Development Goal of ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all.