Friday, October 18, 2013

Sierra Leone: Unqualified teachers

Education remains a problem in underdeveloped areas such as Sierra Leone, a country in West Africa. The article “Sierra Leone News: Quality Education Remains Elusive” describes why education in this area is poor. I read also that their literacy rates are very low in this area with an overall percentage of 35 % for males and females.  The article goes on to say how the media is always trying to blame someone for the poor education in the area whether it be the teachers, the Ministry of Education or the students themselves.  The country has many other problems besides education, like unhealthy drinking water.  The article explains how the school has a lack of teachers and the ones that are there are unqualified and untrained. It also explained the importance of teachers and nurses to their country a statement from the article that I felt had great importance was this, “The unhealthy person is never productive, just as an uneducated person will be very difficult to rule.” (Awoko). The statement to me really states how desperately the country needs people in these professions.
Another problem that serves a great deal of trouble in the education system is the concept of community teachers, this is where the teachers are assisted by members of the community but do not get paid by the government. There are some teachers who are note approved by the state and waiting for government approval which could take several years, possibly not at all.  It is said that the communities that the children live in barely have the money to pay the teachers, this results in the students making up for lack of pay by doing chores for the teachers.  It is said that Ministry of Education is spending great amounts of time trying to figure out the number of teachers and they cannot carry the burden of a larger payroll. It’s also true that many schools are so poor that the students have no place to sit and it is not out of the ordinary to see a child carrying a chair and desk to school and on the other hand some schools are left vacant. Other issues are that the urban areas have schools whereas the rural areas don’t have many at all.
            The problems within the rural sectors of Sierra Leone is a continuous cycle until something happens with the education system there. There are many flaws within how they choose to educate the children in this country especially those in rural parts. Social problems are certainly relevant in this country.  First off a sign of bad education is literacy rates we know the literacy rates are low, this is because many aren’t attending school or the teachers just aren’t qualified. The article mentioned how community members are helping to educate the children, if the literacy rate is incredibly low how well do you think the members of community can teach the children? The ministry of Education is also creating social problems because they can’t afford to pay the teachers, this does not give those teaching incentive to continue working their jobs. The teachers who are qualified are going to quit because of little to no pay. Also the country really needs educators and those who are able to teach. I believe the only way is to receive some help is through funding to pay the teachers who are qualified to come in and teach. The country needs people who want to be educated to be nurses and teachers but they won’t reach this goal without an education. The country will stay in this state until something big happens with the Ministry of Education and outside funding. The country will stay poor until education and health are implemented within the community properly.
Name: Sarah Vestrat
Date: 10/18/2013
Time: 1:36 AM

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