Educator Criticizes Gov’t

The Principal of the St. Augustine’s Episcopal Mission High School in Kakata, Margibi County has frowned on the Liberian Government for allegedly failing to implement the reason behind the recent closure of schools in Liberia.

Mr. Abe Kekula alleged that the Liberian Government planned to bring a reform to the educational system of Liberia in the areas of renovating schools and brings qualified teachers in to public schools but this has not yet yielded any positive result as public schools in the country especially in the Margibi County remain operating in deplorable school buildings.

He also expressed dissatisfaction over government’s decision to close schools without the involvement of all stakeholders of the educational system of Liberia, and its failure to also extend such plan to private schools.

He maintained that granted that the Liberian Government’s intent for the closure of schools was to bring a reform to the educational system of Liberia, it was equally important that prior to such decision to include faith-based institutions into the process leading to such action, and that such plan should have also covered private institutions owing to the fact that faith-based institutions are complementing government’s efforts through the running of huge portion of the educational system of Liberia.

Kekula noted that as the result of government’s reported refusal to seek the input of private schools into the abrupt closure of schools; it has caused serious revenue loss to them thus causing huge indebtedness of parents and students’ inability to pay tuition.

The St. Augustine’s Episcopal Mission High School principal asserted that government’s one month abrupt closure of schools has also caused serious academic consequences to the educational system because some schools have already promoted their senior students who he expressed the belief were not adequately prepared to be considered high school graduates.

He alleged further that some of these students sit the recent West African Examinations Council (WAEC) re-sitter exams as private candidates terming it as “counterproductive to government quest for a total reform of the already messy educational system of the country”.

Kekula, however, underscored the need for the Liberian government to assist faith-based institutions with subsidies and extend the on-going distribution of text books among public schools and private schools.

He recommended the need for the government to buttress the efforts of private schools-either by taking up the obligation of paying some of their staff salaries or give the (private and faith-based schools) subsidies.

Kekula expressed with strong conviction that when government takes this initiative, these institutions will be able to scale down their tuition, thus enabling more parents to afford the fees.

According to him, it was prudent for the government to provide subsidies to all educational institutions in the country because these institutions are complementing its efforts as government is incapacitated in providing education for all of its citizens.

Kekula is at same time appealing to the government to create one syllabus for the Ministry of Education (MOE) and the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) for 9th and 12th graders in order to avoid the mass failure of Liberian students in future WAEC examinations noting that, “Liberia is the only country in the West African region that has separate syllabus for WACE candidates”.

The Liberian educator speaking with the Liberia News Agency over the weekend in Kakata, Margibi County attributed the mass failure of Liberian students in previous examinations of the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) to the existence of separate syllabus in the Liberian school system, something according to him, over burdens the minds of the students.