6 December 2012

Liberia: 'Adapt Reading Culture' - Labor Minister Challenges Liberian Students

Labor Minister Varbah Garflor has challenged students throughout the country at all levels of learning to adapt the culture of reading, admonishing them that reading helps in all academic subjects.

Minister Garflor said she has observed over the years that Liberian students at all levels of education do not adapt the habit of reading, something she noted has posed serious threat to Liberia's educational sector.

The Minister who said she made reading part of her daily schedule during her school days and even now, added that it has helped in improving her spelling skills as well as providing information that she never knew.

Madam who served as Gender and Development Minister before her new portfolio was quick to acknowledge the lack of reading materials and up-to-date libraries in the various schools in the country, and encouraged students to take their learning very serious if they will take over.

She spoke recently during an interactive students' program held and sponsored by the Diplomats Foundation Inc. (DIFON). It was held in the conference room of the Ministry of Gender and Development.

The minister who is the longest serving official in government since the post-war era of governance also encouraged parents to prioritize their children education.

The Interactive Students' Program brought together 11 secondary schools' students in the city of Monrovia.

Also speaking at the program, an executive of the Girls' Opportunity to Access Learning Project (GOAP) called on students of Liberia, especially female to continue pushing forward in persuade of sound and quality education.

Madam Lisa Deyo said about 50% of female students have dropped out of schools due to pregnancy, early marriage, and even lack of financial support are contributing factors, but pointed out that there are still great opportunities for them to return to school.

According to the American educator, the Girls' Opportunity to Access Learning Project (GOAP) is currently providing so many scholarship opportunities for only female students in order to have equal opportunities with their male counterparts.

For his part, the Executive Director of the Diplomats Foundation Inc. (DIFON), Aris Leviticus Howe disclosed that the program was the fifth Interactive Students' program with the theme "Empowerment and Education My Future"

Mr. Howe said the interactive forum among the students was geared toward creating sensitization and consciousness in them (students), about issues that deal with child trafficking, child abuse, child labor and also including teenage pregnancy among others.

He disclosed that DIFON has established into participating schools various groups serving as teams or representatives of DIFON in order to providing and educating their peers about the danger of ills in the society.

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