In a bid to highlight the many challenges confronting the Liberian school system and to find amicable solutions to those problems, the District Education Officer (DEO) for Montserrado County District One-E, at the weekend held a brainstorming forum with school administrators in the district.
The workshop was also aimed at refreshing teachers on their teaching methodology and teaching plan as the new school year is about to begin.
The one-day forum, which was held at the Kendeja High School in Paynesville, outside Monrovia, brought together over 100 participants from both public and private schools.
Speaking at the occasion, the DEO for Montserrado County District One-E, Madam Lucia Boakai Paygai, stressed the need for collective effort and collaboration in ensuring a better educational system for the country.
Madam Paygai vowed that during her tenure as DEO, she would ensure that the problems confronting the various schools in the district are highlighted so that the Ministry of Education can find solutions to those problems.
“Today, I want both b private and public schools to speak on their internal and external problems that are challenging in our schools so that together with the Ministry of Education, can see how best we can solve those problems,” she said.
“During my tenure as DEO, I would like to hear your problem in the schools, because your problem is mine problem and mine problem is the problem of the Ministry of Education. If I don’t know what’s going on in your school, there is no way we can help,” the Liberian Educator asserted.
She pointed out that her administration at the helm of the district education office will be keen on teachers and students’ relationship, while at the same time being focused on the schools’ environments and facilities.
“As DEO, we will be keen on teachers and students’ relationship. We will also be looking for your laboratories, your environment and your libraries. Books should carefully selected based on their relevance and not because they are cheap,” she warned.
As the new school year is on verge of opening, Madam Paygai urged teachers of various learning institutions to remain focused.
“Teaching is a work of the heart. I consider you well-seasoned educators. This profession has challenged you in every way. Every success is as a result of great teachers. There is no minister without teachers; no medical doctor without teacher; and no engineer without teachers. This is how important you,” DEO Paygai acknowledged the teachers.
Mr. Kennedy Y. Zangar, Head Teacher of the Christian Association of the Blind (CAB) Resource Institute, described the workshop as significant as it aimed at highlighting the major problems in the various schools.
“This workshop is good and necessary because school is about to open. From this, we will be able to bring some of our key problems on the table, while at the same time be refreshing us on our teaching system,” Zangar explained.
At Zangar’s school, one of the problems is the issue of text books and so he wants the Ministry of Education through the local DEO to come to their aid.
Zangar said the school also needs a vehicle because recruiting students for the ‘blind school’ is challenging as they have to travel all across the country to do recruitment.
“We need mobile to search for the blind students because they too, need education. We need text books, but the Ministry of Education is not providing these text books to us. And so I am recommending to the Ministry of Education to provide us text books for the blind school. We will have to translate these books to the braille system before teaching our children,” he pointed out.
Madam Ester Jones, Administrator of the privately-run Samuel L. Dennis Institute, called on the Ministry of Education to once again, reintroduce the feeding program at various schools.
She said this will increase enrollment and keep students in school as the school hours for the new academic year is expected to be longer.