President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
Pres. Sirleaf Chairs Education Roundtable
MONROVIA, August 24(LINA) - In further consultations with stakeholders on how to improve the country’s education sector, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has chaired an Education Roundtable Meeting dubbed “Getting to Best”.
According to an Executive release, the Liberian leader met with education stakeholders at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Auditorium on Friday, August 21.
She was joined by Education Minister George Werner and the leadership of the Education Ministry, Cabinet Ministers, International Partners, educational authorities of private and public institutions, advocacy education organizations, and student advocacy institutions, among others.
President Sirleaf warned that reforming the education sector to “best” is going to be a long road and not a quick fix.
“Whatever we do is going to take years,” she warned, nothing, “Our challenge is to start the process, get the elements of that process right taking into account the recommendations advanced by the participants.”
She urged Liberians in the education sector to continue with consultations at different levels – students, teachers, parents-teachers association, among others, and further discuss and address some of the many challenges affecting the sector, including the ills in schools and how they can be overcome.
Earlier, Education Minister Werner made a presentation titled “Getting to Best” and outlined nine priority projects which, he says, will lay the foundation for quality learning for children in Liberia over the next two year.
He named National Roll-out of the Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA); Qualified Teachers with the Skills to Improve Learning Outcomes; Supported and Motivated Teachers will Improve Learning Outcomes; and School Infrastructure Meets the Needs of Children.
Others priority projects are Schools and Teachers have the resources to Improve Learning; Improving Enrolment and Retention; Lay the Foundation for Children’s Education with Early Childhood Education; Young People have the Necessary Skills to Secure Jobs through Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET); Girls’ Learning Outcomes Improve; and the Ministry of Education and Schools are Accountable for Children’s Learning.
Minister Werner emphasized that statistics on education in Liberia show that 42 percent of primary school age children are not in school; more than 20 percent of young people aged 15-24 are illiterate; while one-third of young people are not in employment, education or training.
He said girls are less likely to enroll, stay in school and graduate, secondary-level education is under-0resourced, centralized system is unaccountable to schools and students, and young people cannot access market-driven and relevant TVET.
“We must act now to stop another generation losing out on an education,” he warned, adding that immediate change is necessary to get to best.