-For Reportedly failing To Implement “Education Reform Act’-For Reportedly failing To Implement “Education Reform Act’
By Reuben Sei Waylaun
Senator Dallas Gueh of Rivercess County has accused the administration of former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf for reportedly failing to implement the Education Reform Act aims at revamping the educational system of the country.
Rivercess County Senator Dallas Gueh
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on August 8, 2011 signed the new Education Reform Act of 2011 into law. During the signing, the former Liberian leader said the signing of the Act was an indication that another fundamental is in place.
The Education Reform Act is one of several reform measures being put in place by the former government towards decentralization.
The Act came after several studies pointed to the difficulties the nation experienced in the educational sector in the early years over poor performance in the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) Exams, the shortage of qualified teachers, and poor compensation and logistics for teachers.
Since the enactment of the law, the administration of former President Ellen Johnson reportedly failed to ensure the full implementation of the legal instrument gears toward restoring the pride the education system of the country deserves.
Speaking Wednesday as the chief launcher of the ‘More for Education’ advocacy campaign organized by the Center for Transparency and Accountability in Liberia (CENTAL), the National Teachers Association of Liberia (NTAL) and the Coalition for Transparency and Accountability in Liberia (COTAE) at a local hotel, Senator Dallas Gueh alleged that one of the failures of the administration of former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was her failure to implement the education reform Act.
“The failure of the Act is caused by the past administration, because the government didn’t ensure that the people adhere to the law,” he said.
Senator Gueh also reminded the participants that the problems facing the education system of the country is dated as far back as 1980 and the enactment of the ‘Education Reform Act’ means hope was returning to the sector, but the past government should be held responsible for its failure since its enactment in 2011.
According to him the problem is increasing every day because the budgetary allotment for the sector is little to alleviate or reduce the problem.
“How do we expect the University of Liberia to perform. What we put in is what we getting today. We don’t need to take political approach, but radical approach needed,” he added.
The chairman of the Liberian Senate committee on Education however said the problem facing the education system requires medical and surgical solutions; which means going beyond the cosmetics approach.
He said the continual lack of supports has made those educated Liberians to be seen as the enemies of the state by those ‘uneducated ones’
Meanwhile, Senator Gueh has assured the participants that he is prepared as chair on Senate Committee to work with his colleagues to ensure the full implementation of the Education Reform Act.
“For too long we have talked about education reform, revenues generated are not enough, but we will continue to lobby, knock your doors to support our agenda until we achieved our goals,” he said.
Among other measures enshrined in the new Act, County School Boards are allowed to take decisions pertinent to their respective counties and take ownership of their local school system;
A national student loan program, funded by government, private donations and contributions, is to be established to enable more Liberians to pay for their education and increase the overall enrolment rate at the tertiary level.
The Act also calls for professionalizing the teaching profession through free education; restructuring and elevating teacher training institutes to operate at the Junior College level and award AA degrees; and increasing teachers’ salaries commensurate with their qualifications, specialty, workload and location.
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