The Representatives of the Ministry of Internal Affairs are advancing recommendations here to transform traditional schools in Liberia into trade or professional schools. At the close of a joint meeting held yesterday at the Liberia Bible Society in Sinkor between the Women of Liberia Peace Network or WOLPNET and the Ministry of Internal Affairs, participants recommended that the action be implemented.
At the meeting which sought to promote positive cultural practices in Liberia, several participants voiced out bad practices that they said are being carried out by traditional initiators in cultural bushes that they believe is causing harm to members while driving away potential citizens who may have had an interest to partake in cultural practices due to the negative practices.
Instead, it was held that transforming the Traditional School into trade or professional school will help development its members. One of the participants from the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Madam Morzu K. Boakai suggested that the traditional school be run as a mission, separately from the academic school.
“And if you are going to a traditional school, you should go willingly, not be forced,” she added. But Madam Morzu Boakai further suggested that since the rightful traditional people and Zoes were not at the meeting, no discussion should be held on Female Genital Mutilation or FGM because she argued, the discussion would yield no better conclusion without their inputs.
In another comment, Madam Oretha Pongay of the Ministry of Internal Affairs said traditional initiators should not initiate children before informing their parents; suggesting further that traditional schools should keep far miles away from towns.
Madam Pongay frowned on traditional practices, especially wherein during graduation, they dress young girls improperly and allegedly exposing parts of their bodies and wearing bees.
A traditional chief among the participants, James Pah Sayee of River Gee County said government needs to be strong because as he pointed out he has observed that people nowadays, were not respecting laws.
The Acting Executive Director of WOPNET, Madam Marian Gonyor said out 28 African Countries that were practicing FGM, 22 countries now have laws against FGM, but Liberia and five other countries do not have laws.