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Sorbor George/Benjamin S. Taingay for LBS Online

 There is emerging hurdles over a new reform measure pronounced recently by the Minister of Education, George Werner.

Mr. Warner is a man with a burning passion for change, but sometimes construed otherwise.

Education Authorities say this new reform measure is just a proposal, but the pronouncement has already begun receiving little public support than highly expected by the proponent.

The Education sector has received a lot of public condemnations until one day President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, was moved to term it as a mess.

President Johnson-Sirleaf’s description of the Education Sector still remains fresh on the minds of many who believe something must be done to change the story.

When the “messy education” debate got heated, former Education Minister, Etmonia Tarpeh, was constrained to join the fray, but in a more defensive manner.

Minister Tarpeh said the problem with the education sector did not originate now, rather it derived during previous administrations that did little, or nothing to improve the system then, apparently due to budgetary constraints.

Though the former Education Minister tried to exonerate herself from the problem, the mess still remains in the sector and plays on the minds of the ordinary individuals, stakeholders and international partners.

As a result of the negative impact the mess has on the sector, many stakeholders are now eager to seeing total transformation of the system for the good of the country.

This is exactly the reason why the current Education Minister, a former Civil Service Boss, has stepped up to seeing the system totally changed.

His onetime policy, to drop some public servants, turned controversial and landed him before the full glare of the House of Representatives Plenary, where he was made to stand for hours for reasons best known to the august body then.

Being not deterred, Minister Warner, again, stands ready to accept whatever public backlashes may come in response to his latest proposal for change in the education sector.

His desire for adequate training for teachers before school resumes, and the distribution of 3-million text books and 1-million book bags, are Key elements the Minister outlined in his proposal.

Minister Werner is also proposing that schools be closed throughout Liberia in July, 2015 and that all plans for students’ promotion ceased during the current academic year.

It is no gains to say that this proposal is good for the Messy Education System, if approved by the Government, including the National Legislature and the Judiciary.

What is now causing the stir in the public is that, while the proposal is being studied, there was no need for Education Authorities going public with it.

But, amidst the ongoing consultations, the Project Officer of the Education Ministry appeared on ELBC radio to discuss the details.

What it would have cost Minister Werner to inform the people’s representatives about his idea for change before allowing his project Chief to go public? 

In an attempt to get a full insight of Minister Werner’s idea for change in the education system, the House of Representatives Tuesday, June 23, 2015 summoned him.

But prior to the Minister appearing before the august body to address himself to questions and comments from members of the House of Representatives, we had urged the public to do away with emotions, sentiments, or mindset in handling such critical matter.

Indeed, Minister Warner appeared before the House Plenary and responded to inquiries raised by members of the Lower House relating to the hurdles over the Ministry’s Education Reform proposal.

The end of that inquiries seem to have not convinced the lawmakers to uphold same as the body mandated the Education Ministry to abort its planed action to effect change in the current academic calendar.

It also Mandated Minister Warner to withdraw recent communication sent to WAEC on a request to adjust the test schedules for Liberia.

Interestingly, scores of students were at the National Legislature Tuesday with placards protesting to reports that schools will be closed June 30th without promotion. The students’ protest may have helped, to a large extend, influence Plenary’s decisions.

Whatever the case, we maintain our call on national authorities and the public to soberly reflect, avoiding emotions, sentiments, or mindset, in dealing with the Education Ministry’s reform proposal for the good of the Liberian children…..Hear our plead

 


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