Teachers Critical To Liberia’s Development Agenda…Says USAID Director

USAID/Liberia’s new Mission Director, John Mark Winfield, says teachers across the country play a pivotal role in the development of the country.

In remarks at the 64th National convention of the National Teachers Association of Liberia (NTAL) in Kakata, Margibi County, Mr. Winfield said rebuilding Liberia was hinged on education and emphasized that trained, qualified teachers were key to the process.

The USAID Liberia Mission Director said the role of teachers in preparing Liberian children for leadership should not be taken for granted and called for support to teachers by ensuring that they have the means and the enthusiasm to do their jobs. “Education is not their responsibility alone; teachers need to be supported by government, as well as by their communities, their students and parents,” he stated.

Mr. Winfield then praised teachers for their accomplishment and said the U.S. Government through USAID remains committed to supporting and helping address priorities in the education sector.

Earlier, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said her Government would continue to make education a priority in the country’s development agenda. She said Government was working to address the problems facing the education sector and was considering teachers’ salaries and regularizing the payroll listing of teachers. “We are looking to moving teachers who have been teaching for long from the supplementary payroll.” President Sirleaf however urged teachers to consider their professional development and challenged the Ministry of Education to take the lead in ensuring teachers be given scholarships to advance themselves.

Since 2006, USAID, through the Liberia Teacher Training Program (LTTP), has worked with the Ministry of Education to prepare a cadre of over 5,000 trained and qualified teachers to support student learning in Liberia’s primary schools. Additionally, USAID, through the LTTP program, is working with classroom teachers in 800 schools around Liberia to become better reading and math instructors.