Former Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who once described the country’s education as “a mess”, is having a rethink here, saying the current status of the country’s education sector, coupled with the number of institutions of higher learning, including high schools and universities indicates a significant progress.
In a speech during her presidency in 2013 MrsSirleaf said the Liberian education system was a mess, and there was need for a complete overhaul of the system. Her statement at the time was in response to entrance results released by the University of Liberia in which all 25,000 candidates that wrote the exam failed. She also termed the entrance result at the time as “alarming.”
But speaking Monday, January 11, 2021 when Mr. Sirleafformally launchedLiberia’s university, Best Brain International University situated along the Robertsfield highway outside Monrovia, she called on students there to compete with their counterparts in the sub-region.
“There was a time during my regime as president of Liberia I said the country education system was a mess, but that was to inspire schools authorities and our officials to do more to improve the sector”, said the former president.
Mrs. Sirleaf: The efforts we made to help improve the messy system that we talked about was to go beyond government operation by training teachers, reactivating the teachers training institute to gather more teachers who had gone through the necessary training to deliver quality education that we all are enjoying here today.
She said that couldn’t be enough because education is something that builds and strengthens any nation, and so she didn’t stop there, but went on to ensure compulsory education for primary students.“Ensuring this isn’t still enough because we got to go at the higher level to produce people that have the brains, and capacity to reach out into other schools and infuse them with the knowledge that are required.”
According to her, she then recognized that her government couldn’t do it all, and needed full support and cooperation from others, noting that the lesson was an example that she took from the Republic of Kenya, whichshe adapted as a means of helping to improve Liberian education sector.
Meanwhile, the President of the Best Brain International University or (BBIU) Rev. Dr. Luther Tarpeh says the goal of the institution is to shape the destiny of the country by educating patriotic Liberians, who will use their education to solve national problems that might arise.
He said it’s an honor for him to have formed part of the launching ceremony of what he sees as one of Liberia’s best interms of education, adding, “Our goal is to shape the destiny of a generation that will produce seasoned patriots who will believe in themselves and use their education to solve our national problems”.
Dr. Tarpeh said the foundational stones of BBIU will encourage Liberians to love their country and become proud citizens who will give their very best in making sure Liberia moves forward.
“When you are patriotic, full of energy and actions, there’s no doubt that your education will make a difference”, he concluded.
By Lewis S. Teh–Editing by Jonathan Browne