Sierra Leone has a long tradition of
education. Already at the advent of Sierra Leone in 1787
(see Older History), the first mission schools were
opened. Fourah Bay
College (now the University of Sierra Leone), founded in
1827, is the oldest university in West Africa. Today,
however, a slow work is underway to build up the schools
from the ruins after the civil war in 1991–2002 and
after the Ebola epidemic 2014–2015. Many children have
almost no schooling at all and illiteracy is high.
Allcitypopulation: Offers a list of biggest cities in the state of
Sierra Leone, including the capital city which hosts major colleges and
Country facts of Sierra Leone, including geography profile, population statistics, and business data.
During the Civil War, the educational system almost
completely collapsed. Since then, the state, with the
help of international aid, has made great investments in
the reconstruction of the school system, but the
problems are many: the school buildings that exist are
often in poor condition; there is a great lack of both
teachers and teaching materials; The classes are usually
large, up to 40-50 students. Admittedly, the number of
pupils in compulsory school doubled during the years
2000-2005. Yet in 2013, only a quarter of the children
attended school and only one percent of fourth graders
could read well enough to understand what they were
reading. Half of the primary school teachers lacked
Since the Ebola epidemic broke out in the spring of
2014, many schools were closed and only opened a year
later. It also seemed to be delayed before all students
returned to school, as many families could no longer
afford to send the children to school, as they had to
help raise money for living. Although the compulsory
school is in principle free of charge, such as school
uniforms and books etc. When the schools opened again,
the government banned pregnant students from
participating in the education.
The at least compulsory six-year compulsory school
from the age of six on paper is followed by two higher
stages each of three years. The first three school years
are taught in the local language, then in English. Less
than a third of the students go on to the higher stages
and many girls fall away long before they have completed
their education due to early marriages and pregnancies.
However, special efforts are being made to get more
girls, and even pupils who for various reasons have
jumped off prematurely, to finish school and in general,
education is a priority issue for the government.
From the fall semester of 2018, the new president
Julius Maada Bio introduced free schooling for all
primary school children. According to the president, the
state is responsible for tuition and school fees. At the
start, he donated three months' salary to this, but it
is still uncertain how the reform will be financed.
Only a few students reach the university level. The
upper class often prefers to send their children abroad
for higher education.
FACTS - EDUCATION
Proportion of children starting primary
98.3 percent (2016)
Number of pupils per teacher in primary
Reading and writing skills
32.4 percent (2013)
Public expenditure on education as a
percentage of GDP
19.8 percent (2017)
Public expenditure on education as a
percentage of the state budget
19.8 percent (2017)
Koroma and APC win the election
He gets 59 percent of the vote, against 38 percent for Maada Bio. The turnout
is high, just over 87 percent.
An important reason why Koroma wins the presidential election is that he has
succeeded in increasing support in the Kono district, where the SLPP has
traditionally been the strongest.
There are reports of strong tensions between the supporters of the two major
parties from several directions. In Kenema, SLPP supporters clash with police.
Koroma's party will also be the largest in the parliamentary elections, where
APC gets 67 seats against 42 for SLPP. Since even the country's highest
traditional chiefs are to appoint 12 MPs, APC is expected to further strengthen
The SLPP maintains that cheating has occurred and threatens to boycott the
work of parliament and local parishes.
SLPP accuses the Election Commission of cheating
After the election, the opposition party claims, among other things, that the
election commission, via a video recording, invited voters to vote for specific
candidates and encouraged various forms of electoral fraud. In the city of
Kailahun, in the eastern part of the country, APC supporters, who claim that
their party has won the election, are meeting with police.
EU observers say the elections have largely been right, but there are several
problems. Among other things, the state radio has given considerably more space
to APC than to other parties. Voice purchases must also have occurred. APC
receives criticism for using state funds in its election campaign, but no
mention is made of how much money it is about.
Quiet election day
The presidential and parliamentary elections will be held on November 17.
Ahead of the election, clashes in Freetown are taking place between supporters
from the two major parties.
Nine candidates in the presidential election
The campaign for the presidential and parliamentary elections later this fall
is mostly calm. President Koroma's main opponent is Julius Maada Bio from SLPP.
He led the temporary military junta, which in 1996 returned power to civilian
Koroma's position is strengthened before the election of several high-ranking
SLPP politicians to APC.
Ten elections are held in the parliamentary elections and 588 candidates are
competing for the 124 seats in the parliament. Only 38 of the candidates are
women. In addition to the APC and SLPP, among others, the People's Movement for
Democratic Change (PMDC) and the Revolutionary United Front
(Ruf), the political branch of the former guerrillas, participate.
Sierra Leone suffers from cholera
The epidemic that erupted at the beginning of the year, until August, has
claimed more than 200 lives (see Social conditions).
Student Protests. Fourah Bay University closes when upset
students burn car tires on campus. The deannstran protests that 31 students have
been relegated from the university. These had been at the forefront of an
occupation of student housing.
Convicting them against Taylor
26th of April
On April 26, 2012, the Special Court sentenced Charles Taylor to war crimes
in Sierra Leone (see Political system). One month later, the sentence is
announced: 50 years in prison.
Weapons for party activists?
SLPP accuses the government party of supplying weapons to APC activists in
connection with the country receiving a shipload of weapons, worth more than $ 4
million, which will go to a semi-military force within the police (OSD).