Liberia’s Education Minister designate Prof. Ansu D. Sonii says he and his team will dismiss about 6,300 unqualified teachers here in a plan to clean up the educational system.
“We have already identified the mess and we are prepared to clean the system with your support and commitment to the process. We will ensure that “C” certificate holder will not teach junior level, “B” certificate holder will not teach senior level,” Prof. Sonii told a Senate confirmation hearing Wednesday, 7 February on Capitol Hill.
He has told the Liberian Senate Committee on Education that about 6,300 teachers here are unqualified to teach, but such teachers are still teaching in government schools across the country.
Prof. Sonii is suggesting that the country needs about 22,000 trained and competent teachers in order to improve the education sector of the country that has suffered 14 years of bitter civil unrest.
According to him, the country has about 16,000 teachers, out which he says 6,300 are unqualified while 2,000 are volunteers and 4,000 are supplementary.
He told the confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill Wednesday that he and his team are ready to clean the ‘mess’ spoken about by former President Ellen Johnson – Sirleaf, vowing a cleanup of the Ministry’s payroll and increasing of teachers’ salaries.
He notes that principals in government schools will apply for their positions write exams and go through experts’ coordinated interview before being employed as head of a school, among others.
He believes that due to the low qualification of teachers, many Liberian students are not up to the task academically, both regionally and internationally.
The Education Minister designate says he will work with the Liberian Senate and House of Representatives for the establishment of academic crime court, where people who commit academic crimes can face speedy trial and penalties be levied in the soonest possible time.
Under his watch, he says they will use other means to raise money apart from the allocation in the national budget in order to be able to meet the minimum expectation of teachers.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor–Edited by Winston W. Parley