Students of the William V.S. Tubman Teacher College at the University of Liberia have called on government to reintroduce the stipend payment to students reading education at the University.
The students believe the payment of stipends will encourage more people to take interest in the educational sector at the state-run University and help to ease the financial burden encountered by students.
According to them, the payment of stipend to Teacher College students at the University of Liberia has since been halted in less than two years after being introduced by the past government headed by former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Two of the students, Lahai Konneh and Anthony Boimah said the money was a significant help despite it was not regularly paid to them.
Konneh and Boimah indicated that their stipends were already being delayed or intermittently paid, but things became further worse upon the appointment of George Warner as Education Minister.
They also alleged that the many problems confronting the educational sector were further compounded in the administration of George Warner who did little or nothing to address the situation.
Among other things, the UL students also want the government to put on payroll people they refer to as supplementary teachers. The supplementary teachers are those contracted by the government who receive little salaries without corresponding benefits attached.
They believe underpaying the supplementary teachers adds to the woes of regular teachers and further deepens the chronic problems confronting the Liberian school system.
Lahai Konneh and Anthony Boimah are meanwhile commending President George Manneh Weah for appointing Professor Dao Ansu Sonii as the new Minister of Education. Professor Sonii replaces George Warner who had been at the ministry since 2014. An attempt to retain the former Education boss was strongly resisted by many education stakeholders including students reading education at the University of Liberia.
The UL students believe Professor Sonii brings vast experience to the Education Ministry and urged him to consider their recommendation and work to transform the education sector of Liberia.
Prof. Sonii spent a little over 30 years at the state-run University and held the position of Vice President for Administration before being retired in 2015.