Facts and figures on schools, teachers and pupils in Sierra Leone

The following information is taken from the School Census 2019. The census report was still in draft at time of writing (March 2020) therefore the figures may be subject to change. However, they provide a good overall picture of the entire sector (private and public), with more than 11,000 schools, 83,000 teachers, and 2.6 million school children.

The Teaching Service Commission is responsible for teachers in approved (government or government assisted schools) who are on the government payroll. In 2019, there were 46,436 teachers registered by the TSC.

Teachers in unapproved schools may be registered with TSC if they hold relevant teacher qualifications. All teachers and schools in both the private and public sector must adhere to general rules.

Total Schools in Sierra Leone

 

Community

Government

Mission

Other

Private

Total

Pre-primary

256

151

721

5

625

1,758

Primary

881

1,163

4,412

7

691

7,154

J. Secondary

347

166

784

3

333

1,633

S. Secondary

95

61

305

1

161

623

Total

1,579

1,541

6,222

16

1,810

11,168

The Government owns little more than 16% of schools in Sierra Leone. The majority of schools are mission schools, and there are large numbers of community and private schools. Approximately 60% of schools are approved, meaning they are government or government assisted schools – either financially or in other ways . Not all teachers in approved schools are on the government payroll.

For a school to be approved, it must meet certain criteria in terms of the number of qualified teachers, facilities, etc. While the approval of schools is a ministerial responsibility, the teaching service must ensure the majority of teachers are qualified to deliver teaching of a high professional standard through its recruitment and deployment practices, school leadership and through provision of professional development.   

Total Approved and Unapproved Schools

 

Approved

Unapproved

Pre-primary

728

1,030

Primary

4,707

2,447

J. Secondary

1,125

508

S. Secondary

440

183

Total

7,000

4,168

Total Female and Male Teachers in Sierra Leone

 

Female

Male

Total

Pre-primary

4,878

688

5,566

Primary

14,284

33,454

47,738

J. Secondary

3,155

16,733

19,888

S. Secondary

817

9,024

9,841

Total

23,134

59,899

83,033

NB: the figures above refer to teachers across all schools, including government, community, Mission and private.

There are disproportionate numbers of female and male teachers, with far more male teachers at all levels except pre-primary. The discrepancy increases at each higher level in the school system and peaks in senior secondary schools with approximately 11 times more male than female teachers. It is an important task of HR to redress the imbalance.

Teachers by Qualification

 

Bachelor in Ed

Masters, PhD + ED

HTC (Secondary)

HTC (Primary)

TC

Un-qualified

Total

Pre-primary

51

9

123

485

2,206

2,692

5,566

Primary

454

39

1,350

5,666

22,875

17,354

47,738

J. Secondary

2,615

239

8,679

954

1,841

5,560

19,888

S. Secondary

3,666

304

3,029

166

223

2,453

9,841

Total

6,786

591

13,181

7,271

27,145

28,059

83,033

NB: the figures above refer to teachers across all schools, including government, community, Mission and private.

Nearly a third of all teachers are un-qualified and should either be replaced or become qualified over the next couple of years. Teachers in secondary schools are generally well qualified with many degree holders but there are still considerable numbers of unqualified teachers at this level.

In primary schools nearly 2 out of every 3 teachers are unqualified.

NB: Some teachers who are considered to be unqualified may be partially educated in teaching, have valuable teaching experience, or have an education that does not directly qualify them for teaching, but is useful.

Girls and Boys School Enrolment

 

Girls

Boys

Total

Total pupils in approved

schools

Pre-primary

66,752

60,416

127,168

59,534

Primary

896,191

874,177

1,770,368

1,372,356

J. Secondary

226,159

225,526

451,685

386,027

S. Secondary

147,696

157,389

305,085

273,164

Total

1,336,798

1,317,508

2,654,306

2,091,081

NB: the figures above refer to pupils across all schools, including government, community, Mission and private.

School children make up a considerable proportion of Sierra Leone’s population and is expected to increase in the foreseeable future. The Government’s policy of free, compulsory education has created a growing demand for qualified teachers. Forecasting future demand of teachers is an important role of HR and impacts on the planning, capacity and resources of Teacher Training Colleges (TTCs).

The gender balance among pupils is improving, with more girls than boys attending primary school, and almost equal numbers in junior secondary school. The discrepancy in senior secondary school is small, with around 10,000 more boys than girls. This trend is likely to affect tertiary education in the near future, including the output of qualified teacher candidates from TTCs. It is important to promote the teaching profession to women.    

This manual focusses on Government and Government-assisted schools, and teachers who are approved, registered in the teacher records database and on the government payroll.


Revision #6
Created Thu, Mar 12, 2020 4:51 PM by Admin
Updated Wed, Apr 8, 2020 11:06 AM by Admin