Managing Director of Mercury International, Martin Michael, informed the Minister and other officials present that over the years the company has been providing scholarships to beneficiaries nationwide from primary school to university.
The signing ceremony took place in the ministry’s conference hall at New England in Freetown and attracted various stakeholders including officials of the ministry and the press.
He informed his audience that after the implementation of the free quality education policy by His Excellency President Bio, Mercury International management discussed how they could complement the effort of the government. He added that when the scheme was introduced, they observed a mad rush by parents to send their children to government schools in order to benefit from the free quality education scheme.
He went on to say that this huge influx of pupils is likely to create a huge burden on the government especially in the area of additional classrooms to accommodate them and “so we thought it wise to invest on building additional classrooms,” Mr. Michael said.
He explained that in furtherance of their intervention, they agreed to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education for Mercury International to construct 80 classrooms for the ministry within four years, adding that he reposes a lot of confidence in the leadership of Minister Alpha Timbo who he said he knows to be a hardworking man apart from being a legal practitioner.
In his brief remarks, the Chairman of Mercury International Charity Fund, Samir Hassaniyeh, said the company prioritizes education and that is why they have invested more in education for the past years. He promised that they would continue to support the government and people of Sierra Leone.
Before signing the MoU, the Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary Education, Alpha Timbo thanked Mercury International for the gesture and the drive in complementing free quality education with additional classrooms. He said government’s commitment is to abolish the double shift system across the country as so additional classrooms would come in very handy, adding that on behalf of HE President Bio, the ministry appreciates the gesture of Mercury International.
He informed his audience that among the clauses in the contract Mercury will fund the construction of eighty (80) classrooms within four years with a first tranche of 20 classrooms each year and that the ministry will identify the locations and also provide the lands.