In a bid to finding solutions to the many challenges confronting the Liberian school system, District Education Officer (DEO) for Montserrado County holds a brainstorming forum with school administrators in the district.
The workshop was also aimed at refreshing teachers on their teaching methodology and teaching plan as the new school year is about to begin.
The forum, held at the Kendeja High School in Paynesville, outside Monrovia, brought together over 100 participants from both public and private schools.
DEO Lucia Boakai Paygai, stresses the need for collective effort and collaboration in ensuring a better educational system for the country.
Madam Paygai vows that during her tenure, she would ensure that problems confronting the various schools in the district are highlighted so the Ministry of Education would find solutions.
“Today, I want both private and public schools to speak on their internal and external problems that are challenging in our schools so that together with the Ministry of Education, we can see how best to solve those problems.”
“During my tenure as DEO, I would like to hear your problem in the schools, because your problem is mine problem and mine problem is the problem of the Ministry of Education. If I don’t know what’s going on in your school, there is no way we can help,” she emphasizes.
She points out that her administration at the helm of the district education office will be keen on teachers-students relationship, while focusing on the schools’ environments and facilities.
“We will also be looking for your laboratories, your environment and your libraries. Books should be carefully selected based on their relevance and not because they are cheap,” she warns.
DEO Paygai: “Teaching is a work of the heart. I consider you well-seasoned educators. This profession has challenged you in every way. Every success is as a result of great teachers. There is no minister without teachers; no medical doctor without teacher; and no engineer without teachers. This is how important you are.”
Mr. Kennedy Y. Zangar, Head Teacher of the Christian Association of the Blind (CAB) Resource Institute, describes the workshop as significant as it aimed at highlighting the major problems in the various schools.
“This workshop is good and necessary because school is about to open. From this, we will be able to bring some of our key problems on the table, while at the same time be refreshing us on our teaching system,” Zangar explains.
At Zangar’s school, one of the problems is the lack of textbooks and so he wants the Ministry of Education through the local DEO to come to his aid.
“We need mobile to search for the blind students because they too, need education. We need textbooks, but the Ministry of Education is not providing these textbooks to us. And so I am recommending to the Ministry of Education to provide us textbooks for the blind school. We will have to translate these books to the braille system before teaching our children,” he points out.
Madam Ester Jones, Administrator of the privately-run Samuel L. Dennis Institute, calls on the Ministry of Education to once again, reintroduce the feeding program at various schools.
She says this will increase enrollment and keep students in school as the school hours for the new academic year is expected to be longer.
The Ministry of Education announces plan to extend school hours from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm, beginning academic 2018/2019 to increase students’ learning hours. Editing by Jonathan Browne