Sierra Leone has an old education tradition according to African conditions. As early as 1787 there were mission schools in the capital Freetown. Founded in 1827, Fourah Bay College is West Africa’s oldest college (now part of the University of Sierra Leone). But later the education system was abandoned and laid in ruins during the civil war of 1991–2002.
Schooling is formally compulsory, but absenteeism is high, especially among girls. The information about the school system is very lacking. The education system includes six-year primary school, six-year secondary school and university. In addition to the above mentioned state schools, there are a number of Quran schools for the age groups 6-15 and a smaller number of private schools. The reading and writing skills of the population over 15 years were estimated in 2009 to be 41% (53% for men and 30% for women). In the same year, 18% of government spending went to the education sector.
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In July, the English contingent of UN peacekeeping troops began to leave the country, but two months later the Security Council extended the mandate of the force at the request of President Kabbah, concerned about the security policy situation due to the civil war in neighboring Liberia. Sankoh died in July 2003 while awaiting trial on war crimes.
In February 2004, the disarmament and rehabilitation of the 70,000 who had participated in the war were officially declared completed.
In March, the UN War Criminal Tribunal began its negotiations on the prosecution of those guilty of war crimes from both sides in the conflict. Attorneys for deposed Liberian President Charles Taylor, who are also accused of war crimes, declared that the tribunal’s jurisdiction must not exceed the borders of Sierra Leone.
In September, the most prominent sexual minority rights activist in Sierra Leone, FannyAnn Eddy was brutally murdered in the Association of Gays and Lesbians in Sierra Leone’s offices. the association provided social and psychological help to a group characterized by anxiety and discrimination. International human rights organizations demanded by the Freetown authorities that they “bring the guilty to justice”. FannyAnn Eddy was raped, dressed naked and killed.
Sierra Leone flag source: Countryaah.com
On the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women in November, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan Sierra Leone highlighted in the fight against gender violence and sexual abuse: the country has implemented a law that allows forced marriage to be treated as an assault on humanity.
After a 5-year UN mission in the country, in December 2005, the UN Security Council decided to withdraw UN troops from the country and leave the security in local hands.
Former Liberian President Charles Taylor was handed over to the UN in March 2006. He was arrested in Nigeria where he has had asylum since 2003, but now tried to flee to Cameroon. Taylor was charged with crimes against humanity ifbm. his participation in the Civil War in Sierra Leone. UN Secretary General Kofi Annan promised that Taylor would be extradited to Sierra Leone as soon as possible.
By August 2007, 13 people had been punished for war crimes. Among those convicted were former Liberian President Charles Taylor – whose case was handed over to The Hague -, former rebel leader Foday Sankoh and dome leader Johnny Paul Koroma who continued to disappear.
The September 2007 presidential election was won by Ernest Bai Koroma. Prior to the election, he was leader of the opposition in the Senate and chairman of the APC. He was posted to the post in November. By then, the APC had also won the parliamentary elections in August and gained an absolute majority. Koroma declared that he would pursue a zero-tolerance policy against corruption.