Since the end of the Liberian Civil War, the country’s educational sector has been in ruin and shamble. The sector experienced serious brain drain, owing to the fact that qualified and ethical personnel fled the country, and this has had a negative impact on the quality of instructions in primary, secondary and tertiary institutions.
The Sirleaf administration has struggled for the past 10 years to resuscitate academic excellence in Liberian schools with teacher training institutions being revitalized and equipped to conform to the growing challenge of shortage of qualified teachers.
Besides, the ethical value of teaching has been compromised thereby, contributing to mass failure in public exams, especially the University of Liberia Entrance and Placement exams and exams administered by the West African Examination Council.
In an effort to get rid of the scourge and find a solution to the nightmare that is impeding the sector, several round table dialogues have been called to correct the defects in the sector.These efforts have garnered steam to the extent that some positive gains can be recounted in the sector.
In furtherance of this dialogue, the national education round table conference geared at discussing solutions to the problems in the educational sector from the perspectives of stakeholders who grappled with these nagging issues on a daily basis was held recently in Monrovia.
Speaking at the two-day round table recently at the Monrovia City Hall on integrity in the educational sector, Varney A. Jarsey, President of the Liberia National Students Union or LINSU, underscored that the sector is experiencing serious ethical and integrity deficits ranging from school administrators, teachers and students.
Varney asserted that once ethical value is cultivated in the sector academic excellence will take root. Ge emphasized that all of the actors and stakeholders must now begin to enforce the virtue of discipline and integrity in order for the sector to be placed on the right trajectory. “If Liberians must begin to compete with their counterparts from other regions, they must begin to embrace integrity”, the LINSU president said.
He also renewed his call for the reduction of tuition in learning institutions, especially at the high school level, while urging the Government of Liberia to do more by substantially investing in the human resource development of the country, which he stressed, is the surest way to national transformation.
Meanwhile, a fellow panelist from the conference has lauded the LINSU leader for his eloquent expose and deliberation on the topic, noting that he spoke like a real leader and urged him to continue on the path.
The round table was graced by President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, teacher and principal associations, among other stakeholders in the educational sector.
The LINSU president is a member of the educational board as well as several educational boards both nationally and internationally. The event was hosted by the Ministry of Education to dialogue on the way forward in terms of reigniting academic excellence in the sector. Editing by Jonathan Browne