Authorities at the University of Liberia (UL) have decided to shortly launch a project titled “The National Service Program.”
This internship program is in agreement with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s recent mandate, which urges the UL Administration to send graduating seniors into the teaching field for at least a semester prior to their graduation.
President Sirleaf, at the launch of a three-year Education ‘Operation Plan (2014/16) on May 24, mandated her officials starting with the Minister and Deputies at the Ministry of Education (MOE), to return to the classrooms and teach the students for at least three months.
In so doing, the President believes her officials will experience the ‘hardships and headaches’ teachers across the country endure in discharge of their respective duties.
The expected exercise according to the President is for her appointees, particularly the ministers and their principal deputies at the MOE to feel the adversity of teaching in Liberian schools.
The President’s mandate was interpreted as a means of inspiring her officials into defending the plight of teachers, who over the years have been protesting against low-to-non-existent salaries and other benefits.
The Liberian leader also instructed authorities of UL to allow graduating seniors from the William V.S. Tubman Teachers’ College to go into the field and teach in the classrooms for at least a semester before they can be qualified for graduation.
It is based on the presidential mandate that the UL authorities plans to launch the National Service Program, mainly for students that are benefiting from government’s scholarship.
UL president, Dr. Emmet A. Dennis told reporters that the National Service Program intends to encourage students to move into the leeward counties to teach for one semester before graduation.
He made the disclosure in an interview with reporters shortly after the MOE’s ‘Operational Plan’ was launched at the Monrovia City Hall.
According to Dr. Dennis, the initiative of teaching in the classrooms was necessary to empower the students acquaint themselves with various teaching methodologies.
Dr. Dennis indicated that launching the National Service Program for students that are government scholarship beneficiaries would eventually encourage all other university students to render national service before graduation.
He called on the government to work in collaboration with UL Administration to plan the National Service Program which will encourage the students to help teach their brothers and sisters in the remote parts of the country.
In another development, the president of the Bong County Technical College (BCTC), Dr. John S. Flomo, has called for collaborative efforts among the county leadership to ensure the speedy completion of the BCTC project.
He said construction work on the BCTC, which began in 2012, has expended over US$4 million constituting 65 percent of the work being completed.
Meanwhile, Dr. Flomo has pledged to commit himself to the college and to work hard to improve existing programs at each of the departments within the college’s programs.
The BCTC contains the departments of Civil, Mining and Computer Engineering as well as Agriculture and Education.