Free Education Project Secretariat Hosts Maiden Annual Retreat

The Sierra Leone Free Education Project Secretariat (SL-FEPS) at 126 Regent Road, SS Camp, Regent, Freetown, has held its maiden annual retreat at The Place Resort, Tokeh Beach, Western Area Rural on the theme, ‘Repositioning for enhanced performance and results.’

The four-day event which lasted from October 25 to 28, was chaired by the Senior Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education (MBSSE), Mr. David W.S. Banya and, facilitated by the SL-FEP Coordinator Mr. Ambrose T. Sesay, who presented an overview of the event.

Participants comprised the MBSSE Leadership and Component Leads, including the Minister, Dr David Moinina Sengeh; Deputy Minister, Mrs Emily K Gogra; Chief Education Officer, Dr Yatta Kanu; and Directors; all Technical and Administrative Staff of the Project Secretariat, the Teaching Service Commission (TSC), NGO Consortium and Project Task Team Leader (TTL) from the World Bank.

In his contribution during the sessions, the Hon. Minister, MBSSE underscored the need for effective coordination and timeliness in delivery and reporting, for the successful implementation of the project.

Participants reviewed and evaluated the Project’s implementation since inception in August 2020 and agreed on relevant systems and procedures for effective delivery of results.

The retreat has deepened the understanding of participants of the Project’s scope, and the job descriptions of administrative and technical staff of the Secretariat. It has also fostered effective and stronger working relations between and among the Secretariat staff, the MBSSE Technical Leads; and increased understanding and appreciation of the proposed Projects Results Management and Reporting System.

The Project supports the Government of Sierra Leone in providing equitable access to quality education for all in primary, secondary schools, and other educational institutions. It will significantly contribute to improve the performance of the education sector in Sierra Leone.

The retreat served as an interactive stock-taking session of progress made since the commencement of the project; reposition key actors – MBSSE leadership, FEPS Staff, and Implementing Partners and Agencies for enhanced performance and results; helped participants identify emerging challenges; charted the way forward and; strengthened partnerships between and amongst stakeholders of the project.

The key retreat activities included the review of project implementation progress since inception – current status, emerging challenges and proposals for resolution and, next steps; identification of priority and impactful activities for the 2022 Annual Work Plan and Budget (AWP&B), drafting of Administrative and Procedures Manual for the Secretariat, validation of Semester-1 (January – June 2021) Report and, validation of harmonized Project Results Management System.

The outputs of the activity included a consensus on the priority list of activities for the third quarter of 2021 and the 2022 AWP&B, Validated Project Results Management System/M&E Plan, and production of the draft of the Administrative and Procedures Manual for the Secretariat.

The Deputy Minister, MBSSE Mrs. Emily K. Gogra, formally declared the retreat open on 25 October 2021 after her keynote address.

The Sierra Leone Free Education Project Secretariat (SLFEPS) was established by the MBSSE to support and, oversee the day-to-day activities and operations of the Project.

The Project is funded by the World Bank (IDA), European Union (EU), Irish Aid, Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office – FCDO (Formerly DFID), Global Partnership for Education (GPE) and the Government of Sierra Leone.

One of the project’s components (COVID-19 Education Response) is jointly implemented by MBSSE and an NGO Consortium led by Save the Children-Sierra Leone. Other Consortium members are, Handicap International (operating as Humanity and Inclusion), Concern Worldwide, Foundation for Rural and Urban Transformation (FoRUT), Focus 1000 and Street Child of Sierra Leone.

The SL-FEP Secretariat, located at 126 Regent Road, SS Camp, Regent (By the St. Pauls Major Catholic Seminary, Regent, Opposite the Football Field), is led by a Project Coordinator, supported by 20 technical staff and specialists.

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