-Confirms DEO Koon
The Konobo Education District Officer (DEO) in Grand Gedeh County Washington Koon has confirmed the lack of qualified teachers in the district. "We are facing serious challenges in meeting the educational needs of students, who are far away from Zwedru, the county capital," he said.
Koon recently informed the Daily Observer in an exclusive interview that the district does not have the required number of qualified teachers to address the present day academic needs of the school-going pupils. He said the only high school in Zia Town lacked the required teaching staff, specifically in the science courses that include chemistry, biology, physics, and mathematics."Our administration is being challenged with a bleak academic future for the students, some of whom will be writing the West African Senior School Examination Certificate any time this year," he said.
He said statistics of teachers in the district is appalling to the extent that, of the over 100 teachers, 70 of them are "mere high school graduates, although many of them are on government's payroll."The district, according to Mr. Koon, has 27 public schools and five private schools with 62 teachers, who also need to be trained to understand the basic teaching methodology as one of the requirements to be proficient in the teaching profession.
To exacerbate the situation, Koon said, "We don't have logistics to effectively tour the district where the schools are far apart because of deplorable road conditions."
He also blamed gold mining activities as some of those that have become vices that are undermining the educational activities in the district. He said students leave classes to get involved in gold mining activities and, "their colleagues eventually follow them."
In a related development, Mr. Koon has applauded the Christian Foundation-Liberia (CFL) for coming to the district to conduct in-service teachers training for 'C certificate holders' for some of the teachers. On previous occasions, the CFL conducted a series of teachers' training in River Gee, Grand Gedeh, Nimba and other places across the country. "So we are happy for them to come and also train some of our teachers," he said.
The district is just a stone throw away from the Ivorian side of the border with Liberia, near the Tempo Forest. Transportation fare from Zwedru to the area is about L$3,500 only possible by motorbike.