The Kakata Rural Teacher Training Institute (KRTTI) in Kakata, Margibi County has graduated about 151 trainees from its Cohorts-8 Pre-Service “C” Certificate Program.
Giving an overview of the Cohorts-8 2016/2017 Academic Year on Monday, 24 July at the graduation ceremony, the Director of the Kakata Rural Teacher Training Program, Shadrach Y. Kerl, praises trainers and other support staff for collectively contributing towards the successful completion of the program.
Mr. Kerl discloses that over the period of the implementation of Cohorts-8, the administration of the KRTTI made tremendous achievements in the areas of renovation of several dilapidated infrastructures on its premises.
He names refurbishing of the once dilapidated Science Building Bathroom, 50 guest houses and teacher lounge, among others. Mr. Kerl notes further that KRTTI is also faced with major challenges, including lack of functioning vehicles to transport administrators and deliver school materials, provision of student handouts, lack of science laboratory to capacitate trainers and trainees in conducting scientific experimentation and revamping structures at the institution’s farm, among others.
Commenting on the involvement of the KRTTI in human resource development at the institution, Mr. Kerl says: “The KRTTI, like other teacher training institutes, has the national mandate to prepare qualified, competent human resource manpower in the area of teacher’s education since the 1960s to date; in 2015 the administration engaged in attacking KRTTI’s problems in two crucial areas namely: quality academic performance-based process which is administered to indicate whether there is an improved behavioral change”.
The KRTTI Director explains that these instructional processes can inform the trainers to provide remedial sessions to close learning gaps that may be noticed or identified.
He calls on the Government of Liberia to consider reintroducing the pre-service program in the Liberian educational system, and reveals that there are still teachers in the classroom, who lack basic training, urging the government to tackle such problem.
Margibi County District#4 Representative, Ben A. Fofana, who served as keynote speaker, reminds the graduates that as they leave the walls of KRTTI, they must take into consideration that there are lots of challenges ahead of them mainly the lack of sufficient funding.
Some of the challenges, according to him, are still persistently facing the sector and will have an impact on the quality of their work as they go back to their various communities.
He says that the graduates will also need to apply their leadership skills and training to understand the challenges instead of engaging in activities like go-slow, strike or refusing to teach until compensations are received.
The Margibi Lawmaker cautions the graduates that they should not use scarcity of professional teachers and faculty to demand more compensation than that which is budgeted by the institution.
He says engaging in such behavior would create delay in payments and inability to receive payments from their various entities.
Representative Fofana reveals that current statistics for trained teachers’ shows slanted relationship toward female teachers, which should be changed for the good of the educational system.
He also notes: “However, as the educational ladder is ascended, the share of trained female teachers declines dramatically. At the primary level, trained female teachers decline to 16%, junior high level 5% and senior high 4%. The reverse is true for the trained male teachers. It is time for us to encourage more female teachers at all levels of the education system and treat them with special care.”
The graduation ceremony was graced by scores of educators from other rural teacher training institutes across the country and Ministry of Education, local officers of Margibi County and parents of the graduates.
By Ramsey N. Singbeh, Jr. in Margibi-Editing by Jonathan Browne