In a strongly worded statement, the Grand Kru County Legislative Caucus has blamed the appointment of a "political County Education Officer (CEO)" as a contributing factor to the poor performance of students in this year's WAEC examinations .
Addressing journalists recently at his Capitol Building office in Monrovia, Grand Kru County Senator Peter Sonpon Coleman said the recent poor performance by students from the county can be attributed to the appointment of a new CEO about eight months ago, and his (CEO) declaration to contest the representative position in District #2 in that county.
"The political posture of the newly appointed CEO, Reverend Bloh Doyen, was raised by the Grand Kru County Legislative Caucus and the county administration to authorities of the Ministry of Education, and specifically Minister George K. Werner, who happens to hail from Grand Kru County," Dr. Coleman said. He added that their appeal on several occasions to have the CEO replaced failed.
Although CEO Doyen, according to Senator Coleman, has been dismissed, he said the county's Legislative Caucus and the county administration consider the MOE's action as belated and a "direct dereliction of duty" by the MOE authorities and a huge disservice to the people of Grand Kru County.
"Had Minister Werner listened to our earnest appeals to relieve the CEO of his duties, our students would not have produced this disastrous result. No wonder why our education is considered a mess and the authorities of MOE are making a bad situation worse," said Senator Coleman, who chairs the Senate Committee on Gender, Health, Social Welfare, Women and Children's Affairs.
The Grand Kru Legislative Caucus recalled that over the past three to four years, the performance of Grand Kru students in WAEC examinations has been poor due to very little attention by the MOE to that county.
The caucus maintained that the appointment of incompetent CEOs and DEOs as well as unqualified instructors and lack of supervision by CEOs and DEOs of the school districts have been a very serious problem.
"Unfortunately, it is an open secret that CEOs are accustomed to spending most of their time in Monrovia, while DEOs do not even reside in their school districts. As a result there has been this perennial lack of supervision of the schools. Additionally, many DEOs were retired and are yet to be replaced to make the system much more functional," said Coleman.
The caucus has, meanwhile, thanked the United States Peace Corps volunteers and the Nigerian volunteer teachers assigned in the county for their contribution to making the situation better, and assured them of collaborative efforts to improve the system.
MOE director of communications, J. Maxim Blethan, when contacted promised that the ministry will address the situation "very soon."