2 May 2014

Liberia: Pre-Service Teachers Storm Foreign Ministry

Over 200 Pre-service teachers from the William V.S. Tubman Teacher's College of the University of Liberia have protested in front of the Foreign Ministry in Monrovia, official home of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, seeking redress to their alleged exclusion from scholar per diems promised students of the college by the President.

Spokesperson for the disenchanted pre-service teachers Tenkpor Zoevor told the NewDawn that they took to the streets for being denied their benefits promised by President Sirleaf through the Ministry of Education.

He said since President Sirleaf made the promise over the past 28 months, some of them have not received the monthly US$ 30 allowance, disclosing that payment started last week and ended with their names being left out of the scheme, while some their colleagues benefited.

Mr. Zoevor narrated that when they engaged the Ministry of Education on the matter, the ministry told them to go to one Cyrus, also a pre-service teacher, who heads the payment scheme. He pointed out that the Ministry of Education disregarded the Dean of the Teacher's College at the University and decided to use one Cyrus, who is just a second year sophomore student in the college.

"When we started the campaign for the payment of our benefit, Cyrus was with us, but the Ministry of Education disrespected and disregarded the dean of the Teacher's College, which is the mother college of all other colleges on the University campus and made Cyrus head of the payment team. Our dean told us that the list that was sent to the Ministry was denied because they say it was too long. Now we can't have our money for the past 28 months. We are here today in front of the Foreign Affairs Ministry where the President has her Office to seek redress," Zoevor explained.

According to him, all of the disenchanted teachers had earlier met at the front of President Sirleaf's home, and one Mr. Nyekam was sent by the President, who informed them to send two representatives to her Office to discuss their problem but since they sent the delegation, there has been no response from the President.

When the Communication Director at the Education Ministry, Mr. Maxim Bleeten was contacted, he told this paper that was a new development and needed to seek clarity from his boss before commenting.

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