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Poor reform policy hinders education system

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The National Teachers Association of Liberia or NTAL has attributed the dismal quality of education in Liberia to poor reform policy instituted by the Ministry of Education.

According to NTAL, survey conducted in the country by Education International indicates that poor policy implementation and value of teachers also put the education sector to where it shouldn’t have been.

Association made the observation on Wednesday, 5 October at the YMCA Conference Hall during program in observance of World Teachers Day. The celebration brought together teachers from various private and public schools, students, and teachers from all 15 counties on the theme, “Valuating Teachers, Improving their status.”

Delivering a special statement at the celebration, the Acting president of NTAL Mrs. Mary W.M. Nyuma said based on evidence from Education International (EI) a research group, and other studies conducted show a big decline in teachers and education workers’ status coupled with poor working condition over the years due to few factors, including, imposition of refund by every new government like the Public Private Partner, or PPP of the Ministry of Education, and try and error method in the education system by the Minister and his team.

Madam Nyuma also named preparing substandard teachers and education workers, including recruitment of unqualified personnel by the Ministry of Education, and infringement on academic freedom, and professional autonomy by some state holders in education as other factors hampering the sector.

She said serious violation of teachers, and education workers’ human and trade union rights, poor salaries and working condition, among others should be looked at urgently by all stakeholders in education to move the sector from mess to best.

“We at the NTAL on this World Teachers Day call on the Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Education to reverse some of its reforms, and return to Anti-code”, she said. According to her, government and employers have an obligation to ensure that teachers have values, are respected, recognized, and honorably retired to encourage the young ones, saying “Valuing teachers and all educational workers needs the provision of decent working condition, well resourced, safe, and healthy working environment, as well as academic freedom”.

The Acting President further narrated that reflecting on the theme, valuating teachers, and improving their status one will ask why teachers should be value, saying there is a need to appreciate their efforts, and the sacrificial role they play in molding the minds of young people in society.

She said despite merger salary teachers earn, they are still committed to the profession. “We must value our teaches and education workers; whether it rains or shines, they brave the storm, and remain in the classroom, impacting knowledge to our children.”

By Lewis S. Teh-Editing by Jonathan Browne

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