'Will stop at nothing till every child can safely access school': Sierra Leone educator wins Best Minister Award 2023

During the World Government Summit in Dubai, Dr David Moinina Sengeh said that investment in education is the best gift children could get


Lamya Tawfik

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Top Stories

Published: Tue 14 Feb 2023, 7:29 PM

Dr David Moinina Sengeh, Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary Education Chief Innovation Officer from Sierra Leone, was awarded the Best Minister Award 2023 on the second day of the World Government Summit on Tuesday.

Ten ministers were shortlisted by the award partners Price Waterhouse Cooper who also accounted for public opinion through social media. The jury that selected the winner included experts from international organizations and the private sector. The award recognises the effort of government ministers who have demonstrated excellence in the public sector and who have successfully designed and implemented reforms and scalable, innovative initiatives for their respective citizens.

Before receiving the award, a short video was played in which the recipient said: “I’m really, really proud of where I come from; however, Sierra Leone is infamous for a decade-long rebel war in the 90s where entire villages were burnt down. I resolved that I would do everything I could to ensure that my children would not go through the same experiences we did.”

He said that an investment in education is the best gift children can be given. “Our radical inclusion policy in Sierra Leone reaffirms our position that we will stop at nothing till every boy and every girl can access education and stay safely at school. Nothing more, nothing less,” he said in the video.

Speaking to Khaleej Times, Dr. David said that Sierra Leone is in a unique place because the government is investing 22% of its budget in education. “During Covid it was one of the few countries that did not reduce its education budget but increased it. In 2022, the UN Secretary General made education his focus, and our president was one of the five champions, so there’s a big political will that exists,” he said.

He explained that in Sierra Leone there has been a focus on curriculum change to focus on what he called the 5Cs: computation, critical thinking, civics, creativity and comprehension. “We are also focused on teacher training. We use different modes of delivery – print, mobile, online platforms to make sure that no one is excluded. Inclusion is important, so is access and quality,” he said.

On getting the award during the World Government Summit, he said that he dedicates it to the children of Sierra Leone. “It’s a recognition that we can continue what we are doing and we’re on the right track. I hope presidents will continue to invest more in education. People have to believe in education. For us to get to where we need to get to, we need more commitment from families, communities to put their hands together for the delivery of quality education for all,” he said.

Previous recipients were Greg Hung, Minister of Environment, Australia (2016), Awa Marie Coll Seck (2017), Minister of Health, Senegal, Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Minister of Finance, Indonesia (2018), Dr. Fayrouz Al-Din Fayrouz, Minister of Health, Afghanistan (2019) and Azucena Maria Arbeleche, Minister of Economy and Finance, Uruguay.


More news from UAE