The move by President George Manneh Weah requesting the presence of about 6000 Nigerian teachers to help beef up the messy education system here appears to receiving backlashes form all sectors.
This time the Principal of Brighter Life Academy in Barnesville, Timothy Cooper instead of requesting the presence of Nigerian teachers here, Government should rather consider equipping Liberian teachers and give them better salaries and good learning environment to improve the education sector here.
Mr. Copper argues that foreign teachers are not just good because they are extra, but because their governments are willing to take care of their needs and pay them better salaries.
“These people’s government has better policies when it comes to their educational system put in place through their Ministry of Education,” he says.
According to him, in other countries there are very good monitoring teams that visit schools campuses on a weekly basis, but here in Liberia, you have people being paid to be in the field and you don’t even see them visiting campuses.
As such, Mfr. Cooper wants government through the Ministry of Education to first focus on the wellbeing of Liberian teachers and put in place systems that can improve the education sector, instead of foreign teachers.
However, Mr. Cooper, said the President Weah’s desired timely intervention toward the education sector is welcoming but further mentions that if the Liberian education system is to be improved, it should start with the Liberian teachers.
According to Mr. Cooper, the facilities and accommodations that will be given to those teachers that President Weah is seeking from the Nigeria government should be given to Liberian teachers and huge improvement will be seen in the education sector in time to come.
“Let’s look at the logic, granted let’s say those teachers that are coming from Nigeria will be paid by the Nigeria government, the government of Liberia will still have to provide homes and feeding for those foreign teachers. Why can’t the government give these houses to our own Liberian teachers and create good atmosphere for them here,” Mr. Cooper wonders.
Mr. Cooper adds that if teachers here are checkmated on a weekly or monthly basis and the Ministry of Education makes sure that the right lessons are taught, the education system that has suffered for so many years will improve greatly.
He concludes that the salaries of Liberian teachers is not inexpressive, making teachers mostly (public schools) teachers to abandon classes and sent others unqualified individuals called Teaching Assistants (TAs) who in turn cause more problems for the educational system.
It can be recalled that President Weah reportedly called on the Nigerian government to provide 6000 teachers to his country as part of the Technical Assistance agreement between the two nations. But the President is now said to be denying the claim.
By Ben P. Wesee–Edited by Winston W. Parley