Vice President Joseph Boakai Sr., has commended the Canadian Teachers’ Federation for partnering with the Liberian Government in training Liberian teachers. He said as a result of the civil conflict, Liberia lost most of her trained teachers, and hence that a major challenge confronting the Liberian educational system is lack of trained teachers.
“By coming all the way from Canada to train our teachers, you have proved that you are true partners of the Government,” the Vice President noted.
Vice President Boakai made the commendation on Thursday, August 4, when a four-member delegation from the Canadian Teachers’ Federation, accompanied by the president of the National Teachers Association of Liberia (NTAL), Rev. Ellen Fartu G. Varfley, the president of the Association of Liberian Professional Organizations (ALPO), Saa Philip Joe and the Secretary General of the NTAL, Mr. Samuel Y. Johnson, paid a courtesy call on him at his Capitol Building office.
The delegation which arrived in the country on July 1 to train Liberian teachers is expected to depart on Sunday, August 7.
“I am very passionate about the training of teachers because all we say and do is centered on the work teachers do. And all we plan and talk about cannot be achieved without the input of our educational system,” Vice President Boakai noted.
He intimated that in line with one of the four pillars of her Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS), the Liberian Government has committed itself to providing free primary education, and has constructed schools across the country, but emphasized that the challenge remains lack of trained teachers, especially in the rural areas.
Vice President Boakai paid homage to Canada which, he noted, has been involved in training Liberian youth, including the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) for a long time. “We hold you in high esteem and appreciate you for your association with Liberia,” he noted.
“We just want to thank you for being such great partners. Canadians are not the tyoe of people who make a lot of noise. They work quietly, but make a lot of impact,” he observed. Vice President Boakai also commended the president and secretary general of the NTAL for the leadership they have brought to the Association.
Briefing the Vice President earlier, the president of ALPO, Saa Philip Joe, said the ties between the NTAL and the CTF date back to the 1980s, when he was president of the teachers’ association, and that since then, the CTF has helped to train between 200 and 300 teachers. Mr, Joe said the CTF has also sponsored Liberian teachers at the Cuttington University College (CUC).
Also in remarks, the president of NTAL, Rev. Varfley informed the Vice President that the NTAL now has local branches in all the 15 counties and that the association has acquired land for the construction of a headquarters, which will also host training and resource centers.
Also in remarks, the Secretary General of the NTAL, Mr. Johnson disclosed that the NTAL has raised an estimated 4 million Liberian Dollars for the headquarters project. He said in addition to the headquarters, the NTAL also plans to construct a hotel to bring income to the Association.
For her part, the Team Leader of the Canadian Teachers’ Federation delegation, Madam Denise Gail Edwards informed the Vice President that the CTF has been working in international programs for abot 50 years, and that the organization has been working in several African countries, including Nigeria, Togo, Sierra Leone and Uganda.
She said apart from training teachers through teacher organizations of countries, the CTF has also been involved in the fight against the HIV/AIDS pandemic.