The Kakata rural teachers training institute (KRTTI) and the WEBO teachers training institute last Saturday graduated a total of 238 individuals to the teaching profession at its BWI campus in Kakata, Margibi County.
The new teachers who are made of people between the ages 25-35 are predominantly males drawn from Montserrado, Margibi, Bomi, Gbarpolu, Grand Bassa, Maryland, Grand Gedeh, River Gee and Grand Cape Mount Counties.
Haven been trained from August 2009 to June 2010, the graduates received “C” certificates as part of “cohort 2” of the accelerated teachers training program.
Dr. Fredrick S. Gbegbe vice president of the Cuttington University, cautioned the new career teachers on the public expectation towards their profession. He noted the role of teachers in the life of their students is very crucial, hence the quality of teaching and therefore teachers cannot be overemphasized.
“When a child’s or adult’s first teacher is poorly trained and motivated, the very foundations on which all subsequent educations are bound to be unsound,” he added.
According to him, the greater traumas, poverty, difficult social environment or physical impairment as handicaps on the minds of school going kids, pose serious challenges to teachers who happen to be minds molders.
“As such, government and partners need to really motivate teachers not only with quality trainings, but most importantly, attractive salaries, housing and transportation facilities among others,” Dr. Gbegbe stressed.
Earlier the valedictorian of the occasion G. Cyrus Vah called on government its partners to make timely the payment of teacher’s salaries and allowances.
The ceremony was graced with the presence of several government officials including the Minister of education and his principal deputies, law-makers, Liberia teachers Training Program or LTTP representatives, USAID representatives, schools principles relatives and friends of the graduates among others.
The graduation of “cohort 2” teachers follows, “the Ministry of education priorities for education in post war Liberia,” a document presented at a partner forum in February of 2007 in Washington D.C. the USA. This document provides a clear and realistic road map for growth and development of the Liberian education sector.
Since the opening of the first teachers training institute which happens to be the one in Zorzor, Lofa County, and the subsequent coming to being of the KRTTI, the training of teachers at “C” and “B” certificate levels has been unbeatable even now despite the civil conflict.
These initiatives were the first and perhaps the more serious approach towards organizing systematic effort for government to produce professional teachers to improve the national educational system of the country.
However, all of these and 49 years since, the reviewed of Liberian educational literature still shows 65% of untrained teachers in classrooms especially in the rural areas.