He was speaking in an exclusive interview at his New England Ville office in Freetown on Tuesday 22nd January, 2019. He went on to state that the ministry started the distribution of the core subject textbooks all over the country including the Western since Monday. He added that the books are specifically for each terms but that although the first term is already over, “we still supply them the textbooks for the first term in all of the districts alongside the textbooks for the second and third term.”
He informed AYV that although there were some gaps in the distribution process initially it was because there was a difference in the enrollment data which the distributors were given. He added that the number of pupils in the targeted schools that was made available to the Ministry of Basic and senior Secondary School Education was that of the pupils’ census for the 2017/2018 school year and that as a result, “we expected that they should have been updated.”
“There was a mistake in the Western Area where some private schools were supplied the text books even though these private schools were not listed among the schools that were to benefit from the text books but we managed to retrieve them and we are ensuring that only the accredited government and government-assisted schools get the supply of free core subject textbooks,” Mr. Sowa maintained.
He used the opportunity to assure the general public that the president promised to provide free core subject textbooks to each and every pupil in all government and government-assisted schools and that the president has delivered on his promise. “I want to reassure all parents that their children in government and government-assisted schools are all entitled and will receive their supply of the textbooks.”
He added that since they started distribution of the textbooks they have met a few challenges like reaching some far-flung areas but that they managed the situation. “When distributing, we move around with civil society organizations and journalists to witness the exercise and so far, we have not received any report of any misdemeanor in the distribution of exercise and together with civil society groups and the press we shall continue to monitor the whole process to ensure it is transparent, fair and equitable,” Mr. Sowa said.