Liberia: Educated, Not Just Schooled
Meetings with thousands of young people over the past few years have taught me that it is far better to be educated than just being schooled. As it is said in all of the Liberian languages: some people know books but do not have sense.
Generally, in the public space, people who go to school are considered educated people, people who know books. In this public space, people who are illiterate, like most Liberians, are called uneducated, unintelligent, and ignorant people.
Although the Constitution of Liberia calls for the building of democracy in Liberia, the powers that be, the State managers, do not allow the uneducated people, who comprise the vast majority of the people, to participate in national decision-making.
This blockage of the people from democratic participation is the worst societal blockage confronting the people of Liberia and the rest of the world.
This blockage is violence-oriented because people want to participate in decision-making that affects them in order to attain Justice for All, the only sustainable ingredient for Peace and Poverty Alleviation. In the midst of the prevailing violence-oriented poverty generation, most people prefer Peace to War, having experienced the damages of war. In Liberia, the Civil War took at least 300,000 lives, damaged billions of dollars of infrastructure, and left the Liberian economy to its pre-war level.
An educated person is a person who has the knowledge to solve problems. Thousands of years ago, the Roman people began to use the words-Educare in their language, meaning to mold and to share knowledge with others. The correct education is based on the culture of most people in an area because it helps them to know themselves.
The Greeks used the words-Know Thyself- thousands of years ago because you must know yourself to be able to solve your problems. No wonder, longstanding and widespread poverty remains the main societal problem in Liberia because the educational system in Liberia is American-oriented, coming from the United States of America (USA). Most Liberians prefer the Liberian-based educational system but the State managers prefer the American-based educational system and the poverty generation beat goes on.
Within the americanization of Liberia, State managers prefer the poverty-generating system of the production of raw materials for export without any prioritization of Value Addition. Yet, the State managers complain about the prevailing poverty and are using slogans in their "drive" to combat poverty.
If there were good State managers, then Value Addition would be the order of the day and the human resource would be the main resource, providing leadership to produce raw materials for the production of local products, with the attendant education, training, and health in place, stimulating Liberian ownership, employment, production, and affordable prices.
In the prevailing Americanized system, we witness poverty generation where National Legislators have access to at least US$1,000 a day and their foreign partners, in the commercial sector alone, have access to at least US$2 million a day while over 80 percent of the people of Liberia have access to at most less than US$2 a day (Annual Reports of CBL, LISGIS, MFDP, MCI, WB, IMF, ADB, and UNDP). No wonder, 80 percent of the people of Liberia have concluded that Liberia is heading in the wrong direction (Afrobarometer, 2020).
How can Liberia move away from the wrong direction and move into the right direction? The move of Liberia in the right direction can take place when knowledge is shared to raise awareness in ways that motivate people to work together to transform the UNFAIR electoral system into the FAIR electoral system, the only way for good persons to be elected.
When good persons are elected, then they will provide leadership to move Liberia away from poverty generation and move Liberia into poverty alleviation through the Rule of Law.