Female university lecturers outline challenges
By Lewis S Teh
The founder of the Association of Women Lecturers of Liberia, and President of the University of Liberia Faculty Association (ULFA) Dr. Edna Johnny, says the lack of adequate women lecturers at higher institutions of learning across the country poses a threat to the education sector of Liberia.
The Association of Women Lecturers of Liberia is a conglomeration of female teachers from the University of Liberia and private universities across the country.
The institution was established at the University of Liberia on August 24, 2022, by Dr. Johnny.
Giving an overview of the Association during its Mentees and Mentors Joint Retreat held at the Baptist Youth Camp along the RIA highway in Paynesville over the weekend, Dr. Johnny said female lecturers have not been given much attention in the teaching profession.
She stressed that the organization is formed to unite female lecturers and address challenges they face.
She said her position is to ensure that women are recognized in their respective universities and not only at kindergarten division in grade schools.
Dr. Johnny reveals that survey indicates that women constitute only 11 percent of the total data in the education system at secondary level, noting that this is even lower at the university level.
She said the potential of women is always overlooked in the teaching career, something, she added is not only unique to the University of Liberia but private institutions in the country.
She said like the Female Lawyers Association of Liberia has done by putting themselves together, it was important to have birthed the Association of Women Lecturers of Liberia to cater to its members, saying that female lecturers have all the professional qualities to improve the larger society educationally, but the idea of coming together was lacking in the past.
Dr. Johnny noted that based on those reasons and to provide professional mentorship to students already enrolled or are enrolling in university, the organization was established.
According to the educator, the organization cannot be stronger with the lower number of female lecturers at the University of Liberia but by bringing on board other lecturers from private universities.
She said it can be vibrant with the support of everyone, despite being the vision bearer.
Dr. Johnny noted that a lot has been discussed about the Female Lawyers Association of Liberia, unlike female lecturers at various universities across the country, adding this organization is intended to mentor and guide female students in various universities
She said in many instances, scores of female students enrolled at various universities without primarily deciding their field of studies.
She said that based on this, a lot of those students usually follow other colleagues, who are already certain to join them in the same field of study.
At the same time, Dr. Johnny is calling on members of the institution, national government and international partners to assist the organization financially.
According to her, the institution is yet to be formally launched due to financial constraints.
Also speaking, Madam Florence B. Koroma, Dean, Bishop Collins Teacher College, Stella Maris Polytechnic University said, it is now time for female lecturers to help themselves and unite to help others in the field.
“I am going to encourage other female lecturers because this will help our education system,” she said.
Madam Koroma also called on the Liberian government to support female lecturers by providing them foreign scholarship opportunities to advance their human capacity.
At the same time, Madam Angeline C. Major, Lecturer at the United Methodist University Joseph Jenkins Roberts Education College, told the gathering that there have been many challenges that hinder female lecturers, noting that at times they feel intimidated and overlooked by male lecturers.
The Association of Women Lecturers of Liberia goes by the motto, “A woman’s pen breaks barriers and unlock opportunities.” Editing by Jonathan Browne