The New Dawn (Monrovia)

Liberia: Council Wants Traditional Schools Closed

The National Traditional Council of Liberia (NTCL) has stressed the need to close traditional schools during the regular academic period each year. NTCL's Vice Chairman Boakai Zulu, said this is necessary to provide children of school-going age the opportunity to pay attention to their studies.

He said traditional schools are important because before the coming of western education here, the Poro and Sandee institutions were already existed for the people.

"These institutions taught our children how to respect their parents, elders and also made the young women to learn how to cook and respect their husbands," Zulu told the media in Monrovia recently.

He said however that during this modern age, "there is a need for the children to have light (formal education) for a better tomorrow as everyone wishes to have."

"Light is what everybody wants in their houses these days; therefore, we should give it a chance by closing down the traditional schools and not to run parallel," Chief Zulu lamented.

He suggested the need to carry out awareness in various communities throughout the country to spread the message to parents, and called on the government and international partners to support the campaign against the continued use of "half-naked" dress-code among young women and boys.

He said such dress-code is a disgrace to Liberian women because it is totally different from traditional African attires, which are highly honored and respected. At the same time, a member of the Council Chief Gasua has asked parents to talk to their children to dress properly before getting in the street.

Chief Gasua said this is necessary to avoid would-be rapist(s) going after them, noting "Because the continued showing of your half-naked body, can cause those suspected rapist (s) to mesmerize themselves in committing the crime."

The National Council of Chiefs and Elders of Liberia gained autonomous and legal status on 31 May, 2012. Under its mandates include among others, peace building, advocacy, dialogue and as well as protecting the cultural heritage of the country.

The NCCEL also organizes and convenes consultative forums for local governance participation into formulation and execution of the country's national budget. The Act creating the Council forbids it from playing a partisan role, but rather to serve as an independent body that advises government on the internal affairs of Liberia.

The new Act further provides for organization and holding cultural meetings, seminars and conferences, aimed at enlightening and educating the populace of Liberia about traditional norms, practices and procedures; Writes TKS.

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