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Police, stakeholders discuss to end students’ protests

Michael Weah/Benjamin S. Taingay
Police Inspector-General, Gregory Coleman
Police Inspector-General, Gregory Coleman

MONROVIA, LIBERIA-Police Inspector General, Gregory Coleman, is calling for dialogue amongst education stakeholders in Liberia to end the ongoing stalemate in the sector.

Col. Coleman made the call specifically on the Ministry of Education, the National Teachers Association of Liberia (NTAL) and the Monrovia Consolidated School System (MCSS) Teachers Association.

The Police Inspector General said the crisis has led to teachers strike action, student protests, and the blocking of major streets and highways of Liberia.

He reminded the education stakeholders that the crisis has serious national security risk that must be fully addressed without delay.

The Liberian Police Chief emphasized that the sporadic blocking of major highways in the country, including the Monrovia-Kakata Highway, and the Highway leading to the Roberts International Airport (RIA) by protesting students is worrisome.

He is   therefore encouraging the   parties to find means of having the students return to the classroom as soon as possible.

Col. Coleman further noted that finding a quick and amicable solution to the standoff was important for the country’s peace and security, and for the innocent students being victims of such unfortunate situation.

According to our reporter, the Police Inspector General made the statement Tuesday, September 27, 2016 when he met with the leadership of the NTAL, and a three-man MCSS Teachers Association’s representatives at the Liberia National Police headquarters in Monrovia.

Col. Coleman informed the Association’s leadership that the intervention by the LNP is to find a solution to the crisis in the interest of National peace now being threatened by the students’ repeated street protests.

In response, the President of the National Teachers Association of Liberia, Mary Mulbah, lauded the Inspector General for inviting the Association to the discussion.

Madam Mulbah described the meeting as fruitful and promised the Association’s fullest cooperation and assured the Police Chief that the Association will remain peaceful as they assist the LNP’s mediation effort in the matter.

Both the LNP and NTAL Leaderships are expected to continue the dialogue Wednesday, September 28, 2016 at the LNP Headquarters.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016, protesting students in Kakata, Margibi County ransacked several public buildings in the city.

According to our correspondent, the students vandalized the 13th Judicial Circuit Court, National Elections Commission’s Office, Kakata Service Center, and the Ministry of Education’s fence.

Our Correspondent said students of three leading schools, including the Lango Lappaye, KRTTI Demonstration, and E J Yancy, were involved in the protest.

Following several hours of rampaging of public infrastructure by the students, Margibi County Superintendent, John Buway, and Senator Oscar Cooper intervened in to bring the situation under control.

The students’ protest comes amidst recent calls by the National Teachers Association of Liberia (NTAL) for the resignation of Education Minister, George Werner.

 

 


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