By Ethel A Tweh
The plenary of the Liberian Senate has invited the Minister of Education, Professor D. Ansu Sonii, to appear next Thursday, 4 November to address issues of hike in tuitions and removal of names from the ministry’s payroll.
Plenary’s decision followed concerns raised by Senators Edwin Melvin Snowe of Bomi County and Abraham Darius Dillon of Montserrado County, respectively.
They said as primary and secondary schools are about to open across the country in November, Minister Sonii should appear to brief the Senate of measures he has taken against unprecedented hikes in tuitions and fees by school authorities.
A hike in tuition at the start of a new academic year, particularly in private schools continues to pose a serious challenge to most parents, who cannot afford it amid a general economic decline that is exacerbated by the global health pandemic. Some of the schools increase tuition and fees as high as a hundred percent, each academic year, but provide no new learning facilities or environment despite their astronomical charges.
Minister Sonii himself came under sharp public criticism recently for operating his own private institution that similarly charges exorbitant tuition and fees.
The two Senators disclosed that the Senate had previously mandated the authorities of the Ministry of Education to reinstate retired teachers, but said the mandate is yet to be implemented.
Senators Snowe and Dillon called for concrete actions that would make it mandatory for authorities of the ministry to act accordingly.
The Plenary of the Liberian Senate has also mandated the Secretary of the Senate to communicate with the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning to submit payrolls for the ministries of Education, Health, and Internal Affairs, respectively, for onward submission to the President Pro-Tempore of the Liberian Senate within a week.
Besides, Plenary wants authorities of the three ministries along with the Civil Servant Agency and the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning to appear and address issues of retirement and lack of salaries for employees of the mentioned ministries, especially those assigned in rural areas.https://thenewdawnliberia.com/senate-probes-mia-payroll/ Editing by Jonathan Browne