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30,000 students at risk

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The opposition Congress for Democratic Change or CDC, is accusing the Minister of Education and the entire executive branch of government of endangering the academic future of over 30,000 secondary school students with the ‘so called’ education reform policy announced by Minister George Werner just in the middle of academic 2014/2015.

In a communication sent to Minister Werner and President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, respectively, the CDC said noted that many citizens are wondering if the proposed education reform policy is not endangering the future of nearly 30,000 young Liberians.

According to the party, the Education Ministry’s position that nearly 30,000 students, who should have written WAEC exams last year could have failed because of poor preparation is debatable.  The CDC noted that the case of 12th graders requires immediate action and the Ministry of Education must act now or face legal action from the party.

It stressed that this is not one of those issues that just go away in the “Liberian” way, adding, this has to do with tens of thousands of our compatriots whose future lies in the Education Minister’s hands.  CDC national secretary general, JangaKowo, said the so-called reform could invoke generational crisis if not handled immediately with care.

He said without passing the WAEC exams and obtaining certificates, the 30,000 or more students won’t have access to university or tertiary education because the WAEC certificate serves as prerequisite for admission into all institutions of higher learning in Liberia.

“We are sure the case of 9th graders is manageable as they have additional three years to make up for the lost one semester of 2015, but by all accounts, you are liable! We await a cogent, timely and realistic plan to avert a serious generational crisis for the tens of thousands of twelfth Graders of 2015. Mr. Minister, here is an option to consider: kindly consult with your principal, the President of Liberia, to secure funds to take care of these “ Special Needs” students who [you] have created as a result of your policy,” the communication suggest.

The CDC’s letter under the signature of its national secretary general, JangaKowo, also requests a full and comprehensive report to the Liberian people on how many school Libraries have been refurbished or upgraded by the ministry since the reform policy was announced last year.

The party is also demanding Minister Werner to state the number of schools with equipped Science Laboratories, ready for the start of academic 2015/2016, including number of trained teachers. “We as stakeholders, reserve the right and option to initiate and institute civil [and] legal proceedings against you for the violation of the education laws of the land and for endangering the future of tens of thousands of young Liberians”, the CDC threatens.

By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor – Editing by Jonathan Browne

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