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We recommend an Education Reform Conference

The Public Affairs Department -LBS

No doubt, our education sector has been filled with complications and challenges over the years.

As a result of such perennial problems facing the educational system, the nation’s quest for quality education remains elusive, thus necessitating a comprehensive overhaul and radical reform of the entire system.

CURRENTLY, there are enormous problems, ranging from unqualified teachers, lack of adequate instructional materials, libraries, laboratories, to supplements, among others, needed to bolster and brace the educational system and bring it to a competitive par with other countries in the sub-region.

THESE PERENNIAL PROBLEMS came as a result of the 14- year senseless Civil War that was fought in the country.
LIKE OTHER SECTORS, the education sector was not spared; it was heavily damaged and thrown in complete ruins, meaning the system came to a total collapse as a consequence of the self-imposed crisis.

SINCE THEN, PREVIOUS governments, as well as the current government, have not been able to put in place a pragmatic, productive and comprehensive reform process that will see a total revolution in the education system.

WE MEAN A reform that will critically and meticulously address the issue of quality teachers’ training and corresponding salaries for teachers, the development of an up-to-date curriculum that is aligned with current academia realities, construction of new schools with libraries and laboratories and the issue of reintroducing the disciplinary measures that will regiment students of academic excellence.

WHILE WE WELCOME the appointment of a new corps of reformers at the Education Ministry to lead the change of reforming the system from worst to better, it will be imperative and prudent for the Government of Liberia to organize a National Conference that will focus on reforming the broken and dilapidated education sector.

SUCH CONFERENCE MUST bring all hands on deck;-meaning the Ministry of Education, the National Legislature, National Teachers Association of Liberia,  Principals Association, private and public school administrations, Federation of Liberian Youth, Liberian Student Union, including other stakeholders, coming together to advance ideas and solutions aimed at reforming the educational system in a genuine, concrete and rigorous manner.

THIS APPROACH, IF followed, we believe, will shift the paradigm in the education sector with the much desired reform becoming a reality.

BUT, A QUICK- FIXED policy to address the problems prematurely instead of holistically will be counterproductive and lead to agitations as it is with the current suggested policy by the Education Minister to shut down schools, citing the Ebola outbreak, the instructional period was inadequate to prepare students for this school year. As such, the current institutional period must be void.

THIS POLICY HAS been deemed unpopular and is being greeted with mixed feelings from teachers, parents, lawmakers, as well as the public, thus resulting to the summoning of the new Education Minister to provide an in-depth explanation on what has become the biggest debate in the country.

THEREFORE, A NATIONAL conference will generate all of the ideas and solutions from all stakeholders. Such platform can be used to inform the revamping process of the broken educational system. So, we believe that a National Conference on education reform in Liberia is the way forward. 

 


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