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Sen. Taylor wants education reform de-politicized

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Bong County Senator Madam Jewel Howard -Taylor says Liberians should not be fighting or quarrelling over innovations aimed at solving problems facing the educational sector, urging citizens to hail efforts of Liberia’s education partners, including Bridge International Academies.

“… We should not be fighting or quarrelling over innovations; we should support innovation to enable us succeed,” a dispatch quotes Sen. Taylor as saying during a Bridge partnership teacher training exercise held in Kakata, Margibi County where over 330 teachers assembled over the weekend.

She suggested that Bridge Academies was one of the many partners supporting Government through the Ministry of Education to solve Liberia’s education problem, adding that Liberians should hail this effort and support all the partners, who have accepted the challenge to help transform the sector.

“I am delighted that majority of you have closed your ears and your eyes to the politicking around Bridge Partnership Schools, and have taken the bold steps to be part of this new action to improve the quality of learning for our children,” a dispatch quotes Sen. Taylor as saying.

The Ministry of Education and Bridge made an agreement covering 50 public schools which according to a Memorandum of Understanding or MOU, remain under Government’s control and that parents will not be charged tuition or school services on grounds that the government is committed to free basic education.

The MOU says Bridge receives money from donors to take on the work required to comply with terms of the Pilot Project; and that government does not pay Bridge to create the Teacher Guides, train teachers, and other things, noting that Bridge invests will in research and development as well as pay for all costs of operating the schools not covered by the Education Ministry during the pilot.

However, Sen. Taylor says she wants this program to succeed so that it can be rolled out to schools throughout the country for every Liberian child to become part of the bold new and renewed effort of the Government to upgrade and improve the quality of learning for all children in Liberia.

While acknowledging that she is an opposition leader, Sen. Taylor however argued that education is a nonpolitical issue because it is the future of “our children” and it should not be politicized.

A dispatch says Bridge Chief Strategy Officer Shannon May expressed her organization’s excitement to be part of Liberia’s efforts to create top and better schools which are powerful and trusted places of learning and where every Liberian child will be proud to learn and boast of attaining quality education comparable to children everywhere in the world.

“It is disservice to the children of Liberia and to children anywhere in the world who cannot attain quality education of their liking because of the constraints of their parents or because of poverty. This is why Bridge accepted the invitation from the Government of Liberia to be part of this new revolution to make sure that children everywhere in Liberia have access to quality education,” she is quoted as saying.

Teachers and school administrators at the training were said to have been drawn from eight counties where Bridge Partnership Schools will be operating, including Montserrado, Grand Bassa, River Cess, Grand Cape Mount, Bomi, Margibi, Bong and Nimba, respectively. Dispatch 

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