President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has joined officials of the Ministry of Education for further consultations with educational stakeholders, considering the need for urgent reforms and an attempt to resolve the current impasse and bring about improvement to the sector.
“Change is always difficult and resisted; but necessary to achieve reforms,” the Liberian President told the stakeholders. According to an Executive Mansion release, President Sirleaf made the comments during ongoing consultations with educational stakeholders on “Improving Schooling after Ebola” at the Monrovia City Hall on Monday, July 20, 2015.
She was joined at the meeting by Education Minister, George Werner; Deputy Education Minister for Instructions, Dr. Romell Horton and the Chairman on Higher Education, Dr. Michael Slaweon.
The Liberian leader welcomed the stakeholders and informed them that considering the need for urgent reform of the educational system, she thought it prudent to join officials of the Ministry of Education to hold more consultations, hear concerns and solicit their inputs about the system as well as make suggestions, particularly how all stakeholders, including students and teachers working in concert with the Government can bring about some improvement and sanity to the sector.
She urged stakeholders to continue with consultations at different levels – students, teachers, parents-teachers association, among others – in anticipation of further consultations with Government in finding a way to remedy the situation.
President Sirleaf noted that even though the quality change the Ministry of Education, its partners, and stakeholders are pursuing will not come immediately, but when it does come, it should be of the quality that will place Liberian students on par with others around the world.
She thanked the stakeholders for participating and encouraged fruitful discussion that will bring meaningful and positive solutions to the sector. The Liberian leader assured that government stands ready at all times to provide more support as she has always done for the educational sector.
For his part, Education Minister George Werner appealed to the stakeholders to work with the Government and the Ministry of Education in ensuring that no child is left behind in Liberia.
Making comments and contributions to the discussion, the stakeholders raised various concerns about measures recently announced by the Ministry of Education and made suggestions on how to better the sector and ensure all of the reforms required and deemed necessary are made without conflict and reversals of the gains already made in the sector.
Educational stakeholders present at the ongoing meeting with education stakeholders included the Representatives of private schools, Catholic Education Secretariat, representatives of civil society; Montserrado County students’ representative, Mohammed Donzo; Students, County Education Officers; District Education officers, representative of USAID, Jacob Roosevelt; Representatives of School Boards, among others.
Meanwhile, the Liberian President has expressed serious dissatisfaction regarding the way private schools are established especially without meeting the necessary criteria set by the Ministry of Education and the way subsidies are provided to schools adding, “We need to be more vigilant.” Press Release