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Liberians cautioned against mixing politics with education

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Deputy Education Minister for Planning and Research Alton V. Kesselly has urged politicians and citizens across the country not to mix politics with education so as not to take the country’s education sector backward.

“If we continue to mix politics with education than our education sector will continue to go backward,” he said Thursday, 19 November at the opening of a one – day training workshop to increase stakeholders’ knowledge about the Abidjan Principles and key issues relating to the fulfillment of the right to education in Liberia.

He says with the significant progress made by Liberian students in the just ended WASSCE examination, it was important for politician to leave politics out of the education sector of the country for the future of the school – going children who are considered the future leaders.

Making his presentation on the overview of Liberia’s Education Sector, Minister Kesselly explains that the Government of Liberia through the Education Ministry is working to address the overcrowding of classes in public schools.

He also speaks of efforts to address female school drop outs, the high level of illiteracy, among others. He says the ministry has a long term sector educational plan that will address the many challenges confronting the country’s education system.

Also making remarks, Center for Transparency and Accountability in Liberia (CENTAL) Executive Director Anderson D. Miamen extols media practitioners and the panelists for providing the necessary information that is meaningful to the growth of the country.

He notes that education is very key and is a fundamental right guaranteed by local and international convention framework and policies.

According to Miamen, Article 6 of the Liberian Constitution obligates government to provide equal access to educational opportunities for all to the extent of available resources.

Mr. Miamen explains that its not about any form of education, but one that is accessible and considers gender equality which when acquired can make the citizens to contribute to the future of the country.

Meanwhile the Coordinator of the Civil Society Human Rights Platform of Liberia AdamaDempster says the gathering is important because it will provide journalist with the relevant information on human rights issues.

He indicates that Liberia has signed a number of international conventions, but the problem has been the implementation of these protocols. “In order to show commitment as a country, we have to consider the implementation of those protocols especially the Abidjan Principles,” he says.

The Abidjan Principles came into being as a result of a group of human rights experts from around the world who adopted the instrument on the right to education.

The principle seeks to strengthen existing efforts to ensure that everyone’s rights to education is protected in the context of growing and often unregulated private actor involvement in education.

The day – long training workshop brought together scores of journalists from several print and electronic media institutions, and was organized under the auspices of the Coalition for Transparency and Accountability in Education (COTAE) with support from the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA).

By Lewis S. Teh–Edited by Winston W. Parley

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