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Civil Society Education Coalition applauds education budget at 14.8%, but…

Civil Society Coalition wants Liberia’s education budget to hit 20% of the National Budget to meet regional standard.

By Naneka Hoffman

Monrovia, Liberia, May 16, 2024—The Project Officer of UMOVEMON, Siemon L. Wee, underscores the urgent need to improve and transform Liberia’s education sector and lauds the 55th Legislature for taking steps to increase the educational sector budget from 12% to 14.8% in the FY 2024 National Budget.

Ms Wee observed that the state of education in the country is at a critical crossroads. The potential for a brighter future for the youth is hindered by persistent challenges encompassing teaching and learning materials, school supplies, teachers’ remuneration, educational infrastructure, early childhood education, and insufficient budgetary support. 

She added that while the Liberian government recognizes the paramount importance of education, as enshrined in Article 6 of the 1986 Constitution of Liberia, guaranteeing equal access to escalating educational opportunities and facilities for all citizens, concrete steps to addressing educational needs are urgently required.

She said the increase in the national education budget symbolizes Liberia’s commitment to overcoming barriers to quality education and paving a new path for reform and development in the sector. 

“We firmly believe that education is the cornerstone of societal transformation. We are also passionately appealing to the August Body to continue this positive trend in the FY 2025 National Budget by ensuring that the education sector receives an additional increase of 5.2% to reach the targeted 20% of the national budget.”

She said over the years, there has been advocacy for the increment of the national education budget to 20% to meet international standards as stipulated and in alignment with the Liberian government’s Global Partnership for Education commitments at the Incheon declaration in 2015 and the Dakar Framework 2000, adding that these commitments are not just obligations, but a testament to Liberia’s dedication to providing quality education for its citizens.

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Project Officer Wee believes that compliance with this benchmark aligns with global best practices and provides to bolster underfunded educational initiatives, adding that notably, some countries in the region, like Sierra Leone, Guinea – Conakry and Ghana, have since surpassed this threshold, underscoring the imperative for Liberia to follow suit.

She said increasing the education budget to at least 20% of the national budget is crucial to developing the education sector, adding that it must be a key priority of the Liberian government.

“We further call on the Government of Liberia to invest in monitoring mechanisms that empower education stakeholders to track progress and drive meaningful improvements,” she emphasized and added that an effective monitoring mechanism will curb corruption, strengthen accountability and improve learning outcome in public schools.

She said that by increasing funding to 20%, Liberia can foster an environment conducive to educational excellence and empower its citizens to thrive in the global knowledge economy. Editing by Jonathan Browne

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