Liberia: NECOL Elects New Leaders

The National Education Coalition of Liberia (NECOL), with support from OXFAM-Ghana and Liberia, recently elected new leadership to run the affairs of the institution for the next three years.

The leadership was elected at a three-day general assembly held in Monrovia to share an understanding that will inform broad-based, and locally-driven civil society participation that is crucial to delivering national and international education goals.

Those elected are Jonah K. Nyempan Jr., Chairman, Olushola Kim Ekunode co-chairman and Anna B. Sirleaf treasure and the national advisory council.

The program manager of the Civil Society Education Fund (CSEF), Boaz Waruku, who served as induction officers, called on the NECOL's new leadership to stand up for education across Liberia.

Waruku told the officers to speak out louder to hold policymakers, and officials accountable on education-related matters to build the country.

He said civil society actors in Africa, Asia, and the Pacific are becoming agitated due to the increasing wave of poverty caused by the lack of education.

"Be very strong and make your voice louder," he urged, "When that happens, you will be sending a strong warning to those who are responsible for improving public education.

Mr. Waruku called on the gathering to stand up and talk against public officials for diverting public funds to personal use, adding, "In this fight, you are not on your own, and will never walk alone."

Newly elected leaders of the National Education Coalition of Liberia (NECOL), from right: Jonah K. Nyempan Jr., Chairman; Olushola Kim Ekunode, co-chair; and Anna B. Sirleaf, treasurer.

He pledged CSEF's support to NECOL, and admonished them to always be agents of change in the educational sector.

Jonah K. Nyempan Jr, NECOL's newly elected chairman, said the only way Liberia can be transformed is by supporting education.

He pledged his leadership's support, and promised to steer the affairs of the NECOL.

In a related development, the newly elected leadership of NECOL, presented an award of gratitude to OXFAM-Ghana, the regional Finance and Grants Manager of Africa, Lawrence Akuboric, Boaz Waruku, and other hardworking members and partners of the institution.

Shortly after the award, Mr. Akuboric told NECOL that the fruits of education are gain, usually between the minimum of 15 years and the maximum of 30 years.

He said the intervention of NECOL in the present education status of Liberia is very important, urging them to get ready for the great task ahead.

Akuboric said NECOL should put aside all their differences and move forward for the betterment of quality education, adding: "The fact that I disagree on principle does not make us enemies, because we can still achieve our goal with disagreement. That is why we often say in Ghana 'we disagree to agree'."

He said if the coalition cannot achieve the objective for which it was established, "I will return their award, because many people, who are at the top, have acquired education. Therefore, it is necessary that they leave something for their children to be proud of in the future."

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