World Bank Liberia Country Manager Larisa Leshchenko has said that the development of tertiary education is critical to the growth and development of the country.
Speaking last Thursday when she paid a courtesy call on the President of the University of Liberia (UL), Dr. Emmet Dennis, Ms. Leshchenko said that advanced tertiary education development will eventually filter down to the primary and secondary educational levels. “For example, once teachers are properly trained at the higher educational level, they will be well equipped to provide quality services in the classrooms,” she clarified.
The Bank has started the process of developing its new Country Partnership Framework (CPF). The CPF will guide the Bank’s engagement with Liberia over the next 3-5 years, she informed the UL President.
The Bank also plans to reach out to higher institutions of learning, including the University of Liberia, to get their views through the consultations process. These comments will be important to the development of the CPF, which will assist the Bank in identifying constraints to poverty reduction, she said.
Country Manager Leshchenko informed Dr. Dennis that the World Bank is working on a plan to deploy its visiting professional staff to provide lectures at the UL. She added that this initiative will help with capacity development of students and lecturers of the UL.
President Dennis thanked Madam Leshchenko for the visit and commended the Bank for its support towards the development of the University, citing the Bank’s supported 3-year project: Strengthening the Accountancy Program at the University of Liberia. He pledged to work with the World Bank in the development of Tertiary Education in Liberia, stressing that a qualified faculty is essential for quality tertiary education.
The UL President briefed Madam Leshchenko on the operations of the University and highlighted progress and challenges faced by the institution. Dr. Dennis said the University currently has an enrollment of 22,000 students, though its capacity is 15,000.
Attending the meeting were Professor Geegbae Geegbae, University of Liberia Vice President for Institutional Development; Saidu Dani Goje, Public Financial Management Specialist at the World Bank; and Michael Sahr, World Bank Communications Specialist.