Many public schools in Nimba County are reportedly short of teachers to meet the demands of ever increasing student population in the country spurred by government’s compulsory primary education policy.
It is reported that in Buuyao Electoral District #5, school age children often loiter during class hours because, according to some of the parents, “the children do not have teachers and so they are free to roam about.”
“We do not have teachers to teach us, this is why you see us outside of the classrooms,” some of the students attending the Teahplay Public School told the Daily Observer during a recent tour.
“We have four teachers assigned to this school, but only two of them are on government payroll. Sometimes we sit in the class the whole day without any of them around,” a student claimed.
Most of the schools the Daily Observer visited were crowded, but lacked enough teachers to keep the pupils busy with schoolwork.
At Gblarlay Public School, for example, student enrolment is about 400, but with just one government paid teacher. The five volunteers are not regular because they are not given any incentive, they said.
“The L$1,000 the community promised to give us is not forthcoming since the first period. It has caused most of the volunteers to stop coming to school,” said Napoleon Brewer, a student-volunteer at Gblarlay.
In Beo Bleemieplay Town, parents are complaining of the limited number of teachers which they said is hampering the children’s learning process.
“The government makes us force our children to attend school under the compulsory primary education policy but there are no teachers assigned to instruct them,” said Ma Nancy, one of the parents.
“Most of the government assigned teachers are from the communities where they teach, a situation that makes it very hard to get the kind of cooperation the residents will need from them,” one of the teachers from New Yourpea Public School observed.
When contacted, Nimba County Education Chief Officer (CEO) Moses Dologbay said the government is not recruiting teachers, but is rather updating its payroll system to absorb the qualified volunteered teachers.