Introduction

Gassimu, Patrick, and Joseph break granat (peel peanuts) at home and discuss education in Sierra Leone. The granat will later be sifted and parched in a pot to prepare it for sale in the market.  

Gassimu's Story

In Sierra Leone we have the National Primary School Examination (NPSE), the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE), and the West African Secondary School Certificate Examination (WASSCE). We need to pass all these exams before entering university and it’s not easy. Some people are very good in class tests, but the public exams are very difficult for them. We need to know too many subjects and I think this is the reason for the massive failure in the examinations. If we are to study a particular field, we should focus on that field at the end of the day.

Patrick's Story

It’s very difficult to achieve education in Sierra Leone when using English, a foreign language. Using a local language can help to pass on information easily, both in schools and universities. No country can develop through a foreign language because the culture and traditions are embedded in the native languages and local dialects.

Joseph's Story

Education is very hard and sometimes teachers confuse me. We told the vice principal that our history teacher was not trying for us, and asked him to convince the teacher to change his style. He teaches too rapidly and doesn’t help us to understand the concepts. Mr. Amza teaches economics and helps us very much. Whenever he teaches us, he shows us good examples that make us understand. Our school offers eight subjects, and I understand all except two: history and government. Our mathematics and English language teachers are very good. One day we asked them for extra classes because those are the most important subjects: if you fail them, no other subject really matters. I will try to pass the WASSCE.