NON-STATE ACTORS IN EDUCATION

1. Terminology

2. Typology of provision

2.1 State education provision 

2.2 Non-state education provision 

2.3 Other types of schools 

3. Governance and regulations

3.1 Regulations by distinct levels of education

3.2 Multi-level regulations 

3.3 Supplementary private tutoring 

 

  1. Terminology

The Education Act (2004) governs both state and non-state schools from pre-primary to tertiary education in Sierra Leone. A "Private school" is defined as a school that receives no assistance from public funds; furthermore, the Education Act (2004) allows schools to be established by individuals or legal persons, including Faith-Based Organizations, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), and businesses.

 

  1. Typology of provision

2.1 State education provision

State schools

In Sierra Leone, the education system is composed of state and non-state actors providing education. Most education (84%) at primary education (six years beginning at age six), junior secondary education (three years beginning at age 12), and senior secondary education (three years beginning at age 15) benefit from government funding. However, government-owned state schools (13.8%) account for a lower proportion of schools than those operated by non-state actors. According to the Education Act (2004)compulsory education is 12 years from pre-primary to junior secondary education.

Non-state managed, state schools

No information was found.

Non-state funded, state schools

State education in Sierra Leone is financed by the state and by non-state contributions. Non-state contributions include contributions organized and collected through parent-teacher associations, school management committees, improving school infrastructure, “community” teachers paid through community contribution, other informal contributions, taxes, and fees paid by households. State education in Sierra Leone has also benefited from international organization and other international actors aid, financial and technical assistance.

2.2 Non-state education provision

Independent, non-state schools

Private schools are owned, managed, and fully funded by private actors, which do not receive any subsidy or grant from the government (16.2%). These schools can set their curricula and learning standards. Some examples of these may be schools with International Baccalaureate schools, the American school, and Global NGO School and Low-cost private schools.

State-funded (government-aided), non-state schools

In Sierra Leone, most education (70%) is provided by government-assisted schools in pre-primary, primary, junior secondary, and higher secondary. These schools include schools managed by faith-based organizations (mission schools - 56%) and community schools (14.1%), which are managed by the community. All government-assisted schools must follow the minimum academic national standards and are primarily financed through government subsidies. However, according to the new guidelines on Criteria for Schools Approval to Receive Financial Assistance from the Government/"Grants-in-Aid, government-assisted schools must fund at least 20% of their running costs. The government's subsidies can be distributed as non-financial support and/or financial aid. Financial aid consists of support with teachers' salaries and subsidies/grant-in-aid based on enrollment. On the other hand, non-financial support consists of providing teaching and learning materials such as textbooks, furniture, sports equipment, payment of examination fees, or building infrastructures, such as providing classrooms Water and Sanitation Hygiene (WASH) facilities.

Contracted, non-state schools

No information was found.

2.3 Other types of schools

Homeschooling

No information was found on homeschooling's legality in Sierra Leone; the Education Act (2004) specifies every child's obligation to attend primary and junior secondary school

Market contracted (Voucher schools)

No information was found.

Unregistered/Unrecognised schools

Sierra Leone has recently enacted various policies and guidelines for the recognition of non-state educational institutions by which non-state educational institutions must apply for authorization and recognition. However, there are still unrecognized educational institutions that must apply for state recognition.

 

  1. Governance and regulations

According to the Local Government Act (2004), Sierra Leone's education governance is decentralized between the central and local authorities. At the central level, the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education (MBSSE) is the leading education policymaking, oversight, and management from pre-primary to secondary level. ECCE governance is a multi-ministry intervention including the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education (MBSSE), Teaching Service Commission, Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MOHS), Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children's Affairs (MSWGCA), and Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (MOFED). In 2021 the MBSSE launch the Intergraded Early Childhood Development (IECD) policy for children ages from cero to eight to have access to early childhood development (ECD) services. At higher education, the Ministry of Technical and Higher Education responsible for technical and tertiary level with the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC).

At a local level, the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MoLGRD), through the District Education Officer and the Local Councils, are responsible for monitoring and inspecting schools, state and non-state, under their jurisdiction for all education levels. The Local Councils are the superintendent to all pre-schools in their localities.

Vision: The leading development and education strategy in Sierra Leone are the 2018 Free Quality School Education (FQSE) and the National Development Plan 2019-2023. These programs follow previous development strategies and focus on addressing school and system-level challenges and specify for the private and non-governmental organizations as crucial allies for the education sector of Sierra Leone after the civil war and the 2014 Ebola crisis. In 2020, the Early Childhood Development Policy was drafted, including fostering partnerships with non-state actors to ensure that all children ages cero – eight have access to Early Child Development (ECD) services and interventions.

 

3.1 Regulations by distinct levels of education
 

Early childhood development (ECD) in Sierra Leone covers children between ages cero to six through Community Based Centres (ages cero to two), pre-primary schools (ages three to six); the reception year (ages five to six) has been declared compulsory by the Government. Most pre-primary education (ages three to six) is delivered by non-state actors (91%), including community organizations, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), private sector providers, and Faith-Based Organizations - the latter, faith-based organizations, is the most prominent provider (41%). Pre-primary institutions are under the section on Multi-level regulations.

Entry/Establishment

Registration and approval: The 2021 Intergraded Early Childhood Development (IECD) policy includes the development of the licensing and quality assurance to regulate the establishment of early learning centres by government and non-government providers such as private, faith-based and community-based providers for improved compliance to national service standards. However, no licensing procedures specific to learning centres were found. Currently, the Child Right Act (2007) enacts for a day-care facility to pe establish every person or provider must apply for a permit at the district council accompanied by a prescribed fee and followed by an inspection to inspect if the day-care facility complies with the required standards for approval.

Licence: No information was found.

Financial operation

Profit-making: No information was found.

Taxes and subsidies: No information was found, but the Early Childhood Development (ECD) Policy draft recommends for the government to provide incentives to private sector establishments to contribute to the development of the ECD program.

Quality of teaching and learning

Curriculum and education standards: The Early learning Standards for Sierra Leone must be fulfilled by every state and non-state ECD center.

Teaching profession: No information was found.

Equitable access

Fee-setting: No information was found.

Admission selection and processes: No information was found.

Policies for vulnerable groups: No information was found.

Quality assurance, monitoring and accountability

Reporting requirements: No information was found.

Inspection: According to the Child Right Act (2007) the council shall inspect the premises, books, accounts and other records of a day-care center at least once every six months.

Child assessment: The 2021 Intergraded Early Childhood Development (IECD) policy includes as a strategy of the Area five on Support Positive Ealy Learning, the development of a play-based early learning assessment tool based on the Early Learning Standards for assessing progress across the domains of child development.

Sanctions: According to the Child Right Act (2007) if the daycare center is not being managed efficiently in the children's best interest or complying with the requirements for its authorization, the council can suspend the authorization permit.

Entry/Establishment

Registration and approval: See Multi-level regulations.

Licence: See Multi-level regulations.

Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH): Every non-state educational facility must guarantee clean and potable water, adequate hygienic WASH facilities respecting the female ratio pupil per toilet ratio, and separate toilets for female teachers and girls. Additionally, every school must include in their approval application the number of toilets for boys, girls, and teaching staff by sex in each institution. Assisted schools must include their emergency disaster preparedness in their application, including in the case of floods and fires.

Financial operation

Profit-making: No information was found.

Taxes and subsidies: See Multi-level regulations.

Quality of teaching and learning

Curriculum and education standards:

Textbooks and learning materials: : Under the Free Quality School Education (FQSE), all teaching and learning materials, including textbooks, for government and government-assisted schools, will be provided by the government. No information was found regarding private schools or desegregated information regarding mission or community schools.

Teaching profession: See Multi-level regulations.

Corporal punishment: No corporal punishment prohibition was found specific for educational institutions, public nor private. The Corporal Punishment Act was repealed by the Child Right Act 2007, which includes that "no correction of a child is justifiable which is unreasonable in kind or degree according to age, the physical and mental condition of the child."

Other safety measures and COVID-19: No information was found.

Equitable access

Fee-setting: See Multi-level regulations.

Admission selection and processes: See Multi-level regulations.

Policies for vulnerable groups: In 2018, the Free Quality School Education (FQSE) was implemented by the government to increase free access to education through Sierra Leone. No information was found specific to children in private schools. 

Quality assurance, monitoring and accountability

School board: In 2018, the Free Quality School Education (FQSE) was implemented by the government to increase free access to education through Sierra Leone. No information was found specific to children in private schools. 

Reporting requirements:

School inspection: See Multi-level regulations.

Student assessment: See Multi-level regulations.

Diplomas and degrees: No information was found.

Sanctions: See Multi-level regulations.

 

Entry/Establishment

Registration and approval: For the establishment and operation of a private university in Sierra Leone, proprietors (person, association, charitable body, or other legal organization) must apply for approval from the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC). All private universities must submit for approval and comply with the established requirement on faculty qualifications, programmes/courses information, financial resources, infrastructure, and students’ financial support information. Higher education institutions are categorized according to the certificates they are authorized to award. In the case of universities, they are awarded "Category A," by which they have the authority to award Undergraduate Degrees, Certificates, Diplomas, and Postgraduate Diplomas and Degrees.

Licence: On satisfactory evaluation and payment of the registration fee, the private university will be provided with a TEC registration number. A temporary registration certificate will be issued for a validity period of three years, subject to annual renewals. On satisfactory reviews, a permanent certificate subject to triennial review is issued. Private universities must pay a fee to the TEC yearly to keep their status. 

Financial operation

Profit-making: No information was found.

Taxes and subsidies: No information was found.

Quality of teaching and learning

Curriculum and education standards: The Tertiary Education Commission requires private universities to submit their programmes/courses design, content mode(s) of delivery, duration and learning outcomes at the moment of applying for state authorization.

Teaching profession: The University Act (2005) grants freedom to private universities to hire, promote and fire academic staff. However, specific procedures must be followed as stipulated by the law in the suspension or firing of staff members. 

Equitable access

Fee-setting: Private universities must inform the Tertiary Education Commission on the scale of pay of the Lecturers and the rate of the fees to be paid by the students, which must be clearly stated.

Admission selection and processes: Every student who intends to enter university must pass the West Africa Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE). According to the University Act (2005), private universities can determine their students' admission criteria.

Quality assurance, monitoring and accountability

Board: Every private university must include as the university authorities a Court/Council, Senate, a Board of Trustee and a Board of Faculties or Schools headed by the Deans. Additionally, every private university must include the following officers in its structure, a Chancellor, a Vice-Chancellor, a Deputy Vice-Chancellor(s) or Rector(s), registrar and administrative staff, finance director, dean of faculties, heads of department, and examination controller.

Reporting requirements: The TEC responsibilities include the accreditation of universities operating in Sierra Leone, regulations cover the rules regarding the establishment, institutional standards, accreditation, and quality assessment.

Inspection: No information was found.

Assessment: Consultations have been made to develop a policy guideline for examinations in Tertiary Education institutions, however, no document has been enacted.

Diplomas and degrees: Approved universities can grant degrees and certificates to their students. Some private universities use testing examinations from international-recognized professional certificates. 

Sanctions: If a private university ceases to comply with the requirements for its authorization or is financially insolvent or bankrupt the Commission may cancel the approval given to the university.

 

3.2 Multi-level regulations

This section covers regulations on the establishment, operation, and quality of non-state institutions from pre-primary to secondary education level, based on the Education Act (2004).

Entry/Establishment

Registration and approval: According to the Education Act (2004), all non-state schools must obtain state authorization to operate in Sierra Leone. All pre-primary, primary, and junior secondary schools' providers must apply to the Chairperson of the Education committee at their local authority; senior secondary education providers must apply to the Chief Education Officer for approval. According to the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education and the Guidelines on Approval to Establish and Operate a School and/or Obtain assistance from the Government (2020), non-government schools in Sierra Leone must go apply to Level one for the approval to establish and operate a school in Sierra Leone. Level two is optional is for authorization to receive financial assistance from the government. According to the Guidelines on Approval to Establish and Operate a School, level one requirements include compliance with the infrastructure requirements such as evidence of ownership/ rent/ lease of land to be occupied by the school, environmental and safety assessments, compliance with the MBSSE school construction guidelines and standards, teachers certificates, and evidence of sufficient financial resources.

Licence: Schools not meeting all the criteria for approval can be granted provisional approval and given a maximum of 10 months after which they will be inspected again and expected to meet the full criteria for full approval or lose their provisional approval status. According to the Guidelines on Approval to Establish and Operate a School, schools are re-assessed by the MBSSE every three years to confirm that it still meets the standards under which it was approved.

Financial operation

Taxes and subsidies: After being granted recognition, mission/religious/trustee or community school can apply for level two to become a government-assisted school. Applicants must follow the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education (MBSSE) guidelines on school approval to receive financial assistance and must be submitted and approved before June. State financial assistance may be through the payment of salaries of a specific number, category or type of teachers and/or payment of subsidies/grant-in-aide based on enrolment or development plan, textbook supply, learning material, furniture, sport equipment and infrastructure provision such as WASH facilities.

Quality of teaching and learning

Curriculum and education standards: The Education Act (2004) was established for assisted schools to comply with the National Curriculum Framework & Guidelines for Basic Education. In contrast, private schools can develop their academic structure. 

Teaching profession: According to the Education Act (2004), all teachers must have the required minimum qualifications to teach at a specific level. Teachers at government-assisted schools are managed and oversight by the Teacher Service Commission Act (2011). In contrast, private school teachers are independent workers, and the school owner pays their salaries. The 2020 guidelines on approval to establish and operate a school and/or obtain assistance from the government, specifies that all assisted schools must have at least a quarter of their teaching staff with the proper qualifications and training. According to the 2020 Teacher Registration and Licensing Policy all teachers (national and foreigners) must apply for license and registration and comply with the minimum academic qualification and general qualification and conditions for registration

Equitable access

Fee-setting: According to the Education Act (2004), every private school is free to set its tuition fees. Tuition fees must determine at the beginning of each year, and if considered unreasonable by the MBSSE, it may request changes to the tuition fees.

Admission selection and processes: No information was found.

Quality assurance, monitoring and accountability

Board: The Education Act (2004) and the guidelines on approval to establish and operate a school and/or obtain assistance from the government (2020) dictate every non-state school to have a school management committee. Pre-primary schools and primary schools must include a board of governors in their management structure. Basic education and secondary schools must have a board of governors and a principal of the school in charge of management. 

Reporting requirements: The Annual School Census (ASC) divides the data by school's ownership, including government schools, private schools, missionary schools, community school and other.

Inspection: The Education Act (2004) specifies one of the minister's roles is to control and inspect all primary schools. According to the 2020 guidelines on approval to establish and operate a school and/or obtain assistance from the government, the Ministry or local authorities may authorize a person to inspect private schools' premises to endure operations are properly conducted. 

Assessment: Every student who intends to enter university must pass the West Africa Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).

Sanctions: According to the Guidelines on Approval to Establish and Operate a School, schools are re-assessed by the MBSSE to confirm that it still meets the standards under which it was approved. Schools that are found below the standards may temporarily or permanently lose their state financial support and/ or their operating license. Any school which operates without being licensed or registered by the Ministry of Education is liable to conviction of a monetary fine. 

3.3 Supplementary private tutoring

No legal framework was found regarding supplementary private tutoring; however, the National Curriculum Framework & Guidelines for Basic Education mentions that some teachers rely on "private lessons" or "unofficial charges" to make ends meet financially.

Entry/Establishment

No information was found.

Financial operation and quality

No information was found.

Teaching profession

No information was found.

Dernière modification:

mer 01/12/2021 - 10:50