Liberia: It seems that education authorities in Liberia, particularly those at the Ministry of Education are far detached from development and policies in the sector, disgustingly spewing out tons of excuses and lip services to the public. The Liberian educational system has become a free for all, with administrators in both public and private schools across the country acting at will, imposing unaffordable fees and tuitions on students that parents cannot foot because of the bad shape of the economy.
With the government itself struggling to raise enough revenue to pay public school teachers’ monthly salaries along with others in the civil service characterized by threats of strike and hasten promises by relevant authorities to intervene, it exposes weaknesses in the public sector that private institutions are exploiting by hiking fees at excruciating discomfort to parents and partners.
It is dishearteningly regretting that amid public outcry against astronomical fees, the Ministry of Education would respond that it lacks the power and will to intervene in what is obtained in private institutions as regards fees. Yet, it licenses private institutions to operate under its supervision.
So, you can see where we are headed in the educational sector with a toothless bulldog keeping watch over a system that needs serious scrutiny and supervision in order to yield the best results. But this seems not to be happening as indicated by the mountains of outcry both in public and private schools.
We are even further disappointed when the Acting Minister of Education said recently in Monrovia that the ministry lacks authority to regulate fees in private schools even when parents are crying, speaks to the lip-service mentioned.
For the record, most Liberian parents had never shied away from sending their children to school and paying fees for them, but in the wake of a dive-nose economy with a shrinking food basket, private schools are consistently hiking fees without corresponding improvement in quality as regards qualified teachers, learning environment and academic performance that the Ministry of Education says it supervises.
We find it very paradoxical that the Ministry of Education would boast that it is on top of the game when schools under its nose like the Monrovia Consolidated School System (MCSS) faces fluctuations in teachers’ salaries coupled with non-payment of pensioners and budgetary support, among others.
These are some of the lip-services being outlined here, because least we should forget, it is the government’s primary responsibility to provide quality education for her citizens, not just free education but one that is on par with neighboring countries. Despite offering free education in public universities, when lecturers at the University of Liberia downed chalk for weeks in demand of improved salary and other incentives, it doesn’t show words matched with action.
If the educational sector should move forward, we need a whole paradigm shift in strategies and policies. In other words, dynamism is the surest way to proceed in revising the sector, not only for the current generation but for posterity.
The guys at the Ministry of Education should wake up from their defensive posture and become proactive. When the authorities themselves, including the Minister of Education are running private schools, we can clearly see a conflict of interest and therefore, lip-service that permeates the system.https://thenewdawnliberia.com/liberia-ministry-of-education-suspends-ceo-2-principals/