Deputy Education Minister-designate Talks Tough

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Aagon F. Tingba, Jr., Deputy Education Minister for Administration-designate said the goal to develop human resource capacity of the country through the Agenda for Transformation (AFT), a medium term plan for education and development cannot be over emphasized.

Mr. Tingba made the observation on Wednesday when he appeared before the Senate Standing Committee on Education and Public Administration for his confirmation hearing. Bong County Senator, Jewel Howard Taylor chairs the Committee.

Mr. Tingba said if confirmed, he will direct his attention to restoring basic education, expanding access to and improving the quality of education by rebuilding damaged facilities, providing materials through the training of teachers and introduce accelerated learning for older learners.

He said, although there are constraints to achieving the Ministry’s strategic objectives, when confirm, he will ensure the establishment, management and supervision of all schools in consonance with the education reform Act of 2011.

As deputy minister for Administration, the terms of reference requires oversight responsibilities over Assistant Minister for Fiscal Affairs and Human Resource Development, Director of Administration, transportation, procurement, comptroller and human resources.

Mr. Tingba assured members of the Senate that if confirmed, he and his team will collaboratively work to address the capacity and quality of pre-primary education, basic and secondary education as well as technical/vocational education and adult education and teacher education.

“I am cognizant of the government’s policy of free and compulsory primary education—leaving no child behind. As such, given the necessary budgetary support, we intend to visit and touch the 98 educational districts where every child will have access to learning materials, every qualified teacher will receive adequate training, just pay and on time for a just work done,” Mr. Tingba assured the Senate Committee.

He said, if confirmed, he will also advocate for increased budgetary support that will be used to remove and replace unqualified teachers from the classrooms, provide teacher training for those that are trainable, while still providing vocational training for those that are not qualified to be teachers so as to provide them with the necessary skill sets to be productive citizens.

According to Mr. Tingba, his team will also ensure through increased budgetary support, an increase logistics for the ministry in support of the monitoring and evaluation divisions and support to the three rural teacher training institutes (RTTIs) and strict adherence to the approved curriculum.

 In view of the foregoing, Mr. Tingba believes that an increased budgetary support will also ensure that educational materials reach the over 5,181 estimated schools in all 98 educational districts; construct more hand pumps in every school as well as repair and construct more schools within a substantial number of school districts.

He said, if confirmed, and with the necessary support, his team will hold all district education officers (DEOs) and chief education officers (CEOs), teachers, principals and school administrators’ feet to the fire on the performance of schools in public exams under their jurisdictions.

“And as such, we will be accountable to the Liberian citizenry and submit reports to plenary on a quarterly basis,” Mr. Tingba promised the members of the Committee.

Tingba earned his Bachelor’s degree (BSc) in Accounting from the A.M. E. Zion University in 1999.  He later travelled to the United States and did graduate courses at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey-Camden campus before transferring to the (Catholic Jesuit) Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia Pennsylvania where he earned a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) degree with specialty in Accounting in 2006.

He is a prospective graduate of the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law at the University of Liberia. 

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