Sierra Leone Entertainment News

Sierra Leone: What you need to know about Free Education as students go back to school

Primary student on first day of school (Sept 17 2018) at Kroo Bay - Photo - Murtala Mohamed

Schools in Sierra Leone opened doors across the country welcoming students under the Free Quality School Education Programme. The FQSE Programme was a major campaign promise in the New Direction Manifesto. Under President Bio’s government Sierra Leone has increased national spending on education to 21% of its budget, up from 12.5% in 2016.

When the programme was launched back in August some of the key points of the FQE were lost under news of salaries pledged to the campaign by the President and his cabinet. Here is what you need to know about Free Education as your students go back to school. Free Quality School Education will happen in phases. Sept 17 is the start of Phase 1. The government acknowledges that Sept 17 is “the date for the start of the first phase not the date on which everything will be completed or delivered.” Do not expect everything, everywhere to meet the FQSE promise, it is a work in progress. Phase 1 of FQSE Programme (2018-2023).


  1. No school fees nor admission fees in Government and Government-assisted schools for Pre-Primary, Primary, Junior Secondary and Senior Secondary education
  2. Timely fee subsidy payments to Government and Government-assisted schools
  3. Free accelerated Primary School Learning Programme in the Ministry of Education Non- Formal Learning Centers
  4. Free exercise books, pens, pencils, etc. for students attending Government and Government-assisted schools
  5. Free chalk, registers, sporting equipment, etc. for Government and Government-assisted schools
  6. Free four core subject textbooks for pupils attending Government and Government- assisted Schools with support from DFID
  7. NPSE, BECE, WASSCE and NVQ Free for students attending Government and Government-assisted schools
  8. More schools in deprived and under-served areas benefitting from school feeding through support from CRS, WFP, JAM and GoSL
  9. More trained and qualified teachers placed on the Government payroll
  10. Much needed furniture supplied to schools badly in need in all districts
  11. Preliminary work on the infrastructure of selected schools in all districts


  1. Footwear
  2. Transportation to and from school where applicable
  3. Extra/Additional pencils, pens, erasers, exercise books, etc. above the allocation per child made by the Government
  4. Optional Subject Textbooks
  5. School uniforms