The Ministry of Education in partnership with USAID and UNICEF has unveiled a modern recording studio to enable authorities and public school teachers send their teaching materials via online to students across the country. “We as a ministry, and a country thought to come up with this innovation to make sure that no single child leaves behind interms of acquiring quality education across this country” ,says Deputy Education Minister for Administration, Mr. LatimDathong.
Dathong said the unveiling of the recording studio is a great step for Liberia because the studio will reach where there are difficulties for teachers to reach. “We can’t stop thanking all of our partners, engineer and support staff, who help us achieve this great milestone as a ministry and country at large”, he added.
He spoke Thursday, May 27, 2021 at the official turning over ceremony of the MOE recording studio for the broadcast of institutional lessons directly for the enhancement of quality and continuous learning.
Engineer and architect of the studio Bortfeldt Lloyd said, the facility is first of its kind in Liberia, explain authorities of the Ministry came up with the idea, and immediately he was contacted to do the installation.
According to him, the studio will be used for podcast production as well as traditional broadcast.
He said MOE selected teachers will sit and do their production and they will be carried live on the MOE website, containing various subjects – Mathematics, English, Language Arts and students will have access to those materials by downloading them for study purpose.
“Our teachers will also have the ability to go beyond the work station, and do live presentations and those presentations will be accessed online by students, including teachers themselves. The problem now is finance; if we had all the finances we need, we can take this to all of the high schools across this country”, Mr. Lloyd added.
Giving a brief overview of the project, Deputy Education Minister for Planning, Research and Development Alton V. Kessely said, during the heat of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2019 when President Weah announced closure of schools, the ministry could not afford for students to miss lessons so there was a need to keep them up to speed, something that prompted the ministry to act swiftly to have a recording and teaching studio.
“We all know the difficulties of having students coming to school, and how poor our learning outcome is; it’s against this backdrop that authorities thought to change the idea to abreast students with their lessons particularly, the teaching by radio”.
The Deputy Education Minister said Liberia isn’t the only country that has such recording studio, naming Ghana and Sierra Leone. He said it’s important to replicate this at the University of Liberia and other universities, including various high schools to boost the educational system.
UNICEF Deputy Country Representative Samuel Mawunganidze thanked the Government of Liberia for the studio, which he termed as a milestone in the country’s education sector.
“I’m happy and honor to be a part of this great history making ceremony, UNICEF will continue to partner with this ministry in the achievement of its activities and program. We thought to get involve because there are many children who are out of school, and we realize that we are creating one group of generation to making sure that every child gets quality education, though we were restricted by our guidelines but once it’s a time for learning we invest in it.”
The Minister of Education Prof. D. AnsuSonii commended both UNICEF and USAID for their continuous support to the government particularly the MOE, saying “I feel extra happy listening to the radio during the teaching by radio, because the cheapest way of conveying a message it’s by radio”, Minister Sonii said.
“ I’m worrying about the thousands of young men who are leaving schools to ride motorbike, look at the girls and boys ratio – that gap is narrowing, it’s not the same because we have more girls in school, no but it’s the same because more boys are dropping out from schools.”
The Minister said though bike riding is good, but it’s digging into the future of children, who would have other options besides riding motorbike, noting that its incumbent upon everyone to encourage young people about the importance of education, something he said will help in building the country.
The unveiling of the MOE recording studio was graced by staff and officials of the Ministry, partners from UNICEF and USAID and chairpersons for the committee on education at both the House of Representatives and the Liberian Senate, respectively. By Lewis S. Teh