25 October 2013

Liberia: Gov't Declares Education an 'Emergency'

Photo: Glenna Gordon/Unesco
The student-teacher ratio at the Paynesville Community Junior High School in Monrovia is over fifty to one (file photo).

The Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Information has declared the provision of education to its citizens as a national priority that must be addressed by all stakeholders.

Addressing the regular press briefing of MICAT yesterday in Monrovia, Information Minister, Lewis G. Brown stressed the need for an improved educational system in the country so as to prepare young Liberians meet the challenges ahead.

Minister Brown disclosed that President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf is leading a special educational project to ensure that sound and quality education be provided by the Liberian Government to the youths. "We must continue to do more in our educational sector," Brown said.

He said the failure of some 25,000 persons who sat the University of Liberia entrance examination is a shame to the entire country and that is why the Liberian leader is taking the lead in renewing her efforts to strengthening the country's educational program.

"Government's focus is improving the quality of education; our focus is also on Early Child Development and that is why a commission has been established to operate and unify curriculum development. Mr. Brown said education is the future of any nation and the only way to expand the nation's economy.

He said another way to improving quality education for the children and Liberian youths is by providing electrical power something government is doing everything possible to address. Brown pointed out that providing education has become a national emergency considering the recent mass failure of those who took the UL Entrance Exam.

He said government will provide incentives for teachers and those interested in the field of teaching as a sign of encouragement to improve the educational system of the country. "The failure of 25,000 persons is a disgrace to our educational system and so, we all must feel the sense of urgency in addressing these problems in our educational sector," the Information boss added.

At the same time, Minister Brown has disclosed that the payment of the Relocation Action Plan (RAP) for some of those residing near roads to be rehabilitated is delaying the commencement of the projects. Mr. Brown said some of the people have received their packages but are still refusing to leave the roadsides.

He said the government of Liberia is spending USM$8 to US$10 million toward the Relocation Action Plan an amount that should've been used to address other important areas of priority including the educational sector.

Min. Brown said one of the roads that are being delayed because of the payment of the RAP is the Monrovia/ Gbarnga Road. He then called on those refusing to leave or who have returned on the roadsides to immediately vacate those areas as major road connections will be prioritized by government this coming season.

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