The Sierra Leone Teachers Union (SLTU), in collaboration with Education International (EI), organised a workshop, the first since the emergence of Covid-19, on the Education Workforce Initiative (EWI), from 18th to 19th January 2021. A total of 50 participants (26 females and 24 males), comprising union officers and activists drawn from all regions of the country, attended the workshop.
The main objective of the workshop was to analyse the Education Workforce Report (EWR) and come up with strategies for maximizing the opportunities and minimizing the potential negative impacts of the study to strengthen the education workforce, teaching, and learning in Sierra Leone.
The Report was presented by John K. Ansumana of The Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education (MBSSE) and Sorie I. Turay, the Secretary of the Teaching Service Commission (TSC) who coordinated and carried out the research that would lead to the reform of education workforce in Sierra Leone. The other facilitators were the SLTU Project Coordinator, Salimatu S. Koroma and SLTU Deputy Secretary General, Alieu Deen-Conteh.
The union discussed ways to revisit their Advocacy Plan developed in the initial workshop in 2018.They highlighted the need for the EWI project to respond to the shortage of teachers, build the capacity of teachers, monitor teachers for effective service delivery, advocate for political will of the government to match up with SDG4 and empower early childhood educators.
Other issues were to advocate and lobby for the new Collective Agreement with the 30% salary increase for teachers to be signed and gazetted, advocate for the review of the Collective Agreement to bring on board remaining items in the last proposal, sensitize members about the Collective Agreement and the EWI project, as well as ongoing reforms by TSC and the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education (MBSSE), and advocate for inclusion in education bodies.
The President of the Union, Mr. Mohamed Salieu Bangura, commended the cordial relationship between the Teaching Service Commission (TSC) and the Union, noting the critical importance of the workshop in contributing to sound education policy reforms and better management of the education system in the country.
The International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity (Education Commission) launched the Education Workforce Initiative (EWI) with the aim “to develop concrete options for policymakers to diversify, expand, and strengthen the education workforce to meet the changing demands of the 21st century and to improve learning outcomes”. The EWI was piloted in three countries: Vietnam, Ghana, and Sierra Leone.