The President of the Catholic-run Stella Maris Polytechnic, Sister Mary Laurene Browne has admonished Liberians to develop the ‘culture of reading’ (books) to enhance their horizon on local and international issues.
The Catholic Sister said reading books and other educational materials would help Liberians to do critical analysis of national issues, thereby preventing them from being misinformed and misled by others.
She made the statement recently at the Monrovia City Hall in an interview with reporters during a program marking this year’s National Spelling Bee Contest among a cross section of schools in the country.
According to her, the lack of a reading habit among Liberians has contributed to poor performances of students in schools, particularly during public examinations.
Sister Browne explained among other things that if schools teach students how to read effectively, it would help to improve the standard of education in Liberia, because, according to her, spelling competition is not the only activity to lift the level of education in the country.
She observed that more Liberians do not adapt reading books as a habit, calling on Liberian students to develop the culture of reading, “because it is about time for Liberians to develop the reading culture to help transform the education sector.”
Meanwhile Deputy Education Minister for Instruction, Hawah Goll-Kotchi says the Liberian education system is on track to strengthen the standard of learning.
Madam Goll-Kotchi said the education system is being brought back on track to enable Liberians, especially the school-going youths to compete with other students in the sub-region.
She said it was regrettable that the current budgetary allocation to the ministry is inadequate to organize all the programs intended to improve the standard of Liberian students.
The ‘Spelling Bee’ program seeks to create competition among students in various schools across the country to ensure that they (students) think critically and analytically to understand their lessons.
The 2014 Spelling Bee Competition was held under the theme: “Promoting Reading and Spelling in Liberian Schools.” The program started in 2008 under the supervision of the American Embassy in Monrovia, but is now under the supervision of the Ministry of Education.
Student David Howard of the Bong Mines Central High School in Bong County came first place as a winner, while student Vera Lah of Arcelor Mittal High School in Nimba County, and Courage G. Noring of Kaytoken Elementary and Junior
High in River Gee County, won the second and third places respectively.
Howard received US$1,500 prize, while the second and third winners received US$1,000 and US$500 respectively along with the trophies.
Other participants were given medals and certificates of participation.