The National Teachers Association of Liberia or NTAL says the 6, 000 teachers proposed by President George M. Weah should be Liberians, not foreigners, noting that there are qualified Liberian teachers, who are capable of transforming the country’s educational sector.
NTAL Acting President Mary W. Mulbah Nyumah: Though we need experts to help especially, with the Sciences, and there is a need to have teachers exchange, where teachers from Liberia could go to other countries, and teachers from other countries come here to carry on some interactive programs.
She spoke recently in an exclusive interview with this paper at the institution’s head office on 12th Street Sinkor in Monrovia, stressing that teachers play a vital role in building the right minds for the society, adding that without teachers, a nation cannot boost of any development.
According to Mrs. Nyumah, when NTAL met with President George Weah about a month ago, they put before him the many difficulties the institution is faced with, noting that it was based upon their plight that President Weah promised his government’s commitment to ensuring better reforms in the educational sector.
She further disclosed that NTAL similarly met with the Minister of Education prior to President Weah’s departure to Paris, France, and that the proposal to bring trainers from Nigeria was based on the President’s own thought to help in transforming the sector.
“We are aware of some experts that were to come, but that number is what we never thought of coming to this country, again no one can question the decision of the President, because we all need change”, she expresses.
According to her, after the meeting with the Education Ministry, they were told that 6,000 teachers were needed, saying “But all we thought was those teachers were going to be Liberians, instead of foreigners, but that’s the decision of the President and we cannot say it is shock to us.”
Meanwhile, NTAL says both public and private school teachers were disrespected by past regime, adding that past administration failed to recognize role play by teachers.
“Past administration disrespected us; they never knew how important teachers were, our salaries were low, but with the recent meeting we had with the President, and the Ministry of Education, we can now see the respect that was lacking”; the Acting NTAL President says.
According to her, after the meeting with President Weah, they gain that respect that was lacking under past regime, noting, “Past leaders swept the importance of teachers under the carpet, but with the coming of George M. Weah, we can now say, the issue of teachers’ is high on his agenda, and the demonstration is his recent pronouncement to cut his salary that goes toward teachers.”
By Lewis S. Teh-Editing by Jonathan