Liberia: 3 Top Education Officials Suspended

Authorities at the Ministry of Education announced over the weekend that they have suspended three of their county officials for lack of oversight leading to the astronomical increase in tuition fees by public school administrators. The education authorities said the lack of action by the officials also led to the disregard for policies within their controlled school system.

Those suspended are Mr. G. Samuel K. S. Bondo of Montserrado 1, Mr. Moses S. Dologbay of Nimba County, and Mr. James G. Gaye of Margibi.Their suspension follows an investigation into complaints from parents regarding un-prescribed fees charged by Public School administrators."The suspension of these individuals takes effect as of the 15th of October 2019," a statement issued by the Education Ministry said.

The ministry said it was compelled to take the action after an all-day deliberation held between the Senior Management Team (SMT) and Education Officers who are the direct representatives of the Minister within these counties.

"Hence, all education stakeholders and the public are advised not to transact any matters relative to education management or operations at the county level with the suspended persons until further notice," the statement added.

The SMT's engagement, which resulted in the above action, was predicated upon the officers' lack of appropriate communication of changes made to the prescribed fees charged by the Ministry, which was stipulated in the National Academic Calendar 2019/2020. An act on the part of CEOs considered as disregard for direct instructions and policies of the Ministry of Education.However, the ministry said the Special Taskforce remains operational and continuing the probe into complaints originating from other counties as well as analyzing fees charged at private schools.

The exercise for private schools, the ministry added is meant to gauge details of fees charged over the last two academic years, analyze, and report the variance to determine if an increment or fees charged commensurate with the service provided.

It could be recalled that there was a public outcry at the beginning of the 2019/2020 academic year across the country for the huge tuition and registration fees charge by both public and private schools in the face of extreme economic situation in the country at the civil servants have not taken pay for months.

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