Liberia: “Female Lecturers Underrepresented in Education Sector”



— Association of Women Lecturers of Liberia president alarms

The Founder of the Association of University Women Lecturers of Liberia (AUWOL), Edna Johnny, has expressed concern that female instructors are underrepresented in the education sector.

AUWOL is a conglomeration of female teachers from the University of Liberia and all private universities across the country.

The organization was established at the University of Liberia on August 24, 2022 by Johnny, who is also the President of the University of Liberia Faculty Association (ULFA).

Giving an overview of the Association during its Mentees and Mentors Joint Retreat at the weekend, Johnny said female lecturers have not been given much attention in the teaching field.

During the retreat held at the Baptist Youth Camp, RIA Highway in Paynesville, the veteran educator stressed that the organization is formed to unite female lecturers and address their challenges faced in the teaching profession.

She said her position is to ensure that women are recognized in their respective universities and not only in the preschool and grade school divisions.

Johnny indicated that according to a survey conducted, women only constitute 11% of the total data in the education system at the high school level, stressing that this is even lower at the university level.

She said the potential of women is always overlooked in the teaching field, adding that this is not only unique to the University of Liberia but other private institutions in the country.

The AUWOL Boss averred that, like the Female Lawyers Association of Liberia has done by organizing themselves as a professional body, it is important to have birthed the Association of Women Lecturers of Liberia to cater to their members.

She noted that female lecturers have all the professional qualities to improve the larger society educationally, but the idea of coming together was lacking in the past.

Johnny noted that it is based on these reasons and to provide professional mentorship to students already or enrolling at the university, the organization was established.

She indicated that the organization can be looked up to for direction in the larger space in the country when a collective effort is exerted by its members.

According to the educator, the organization cannot be stronger with the low number of female lecturers at the UL but by bringing on board other lecturers from private universities.

She said it can be vibrant with the support of everyone, despite her position as the vision bearer.

Johnny said a lot has been discussed about the Female Lawyers Association of Liberia unlike female lecturers at the various universities across the country.

According to her, this organization is intended to mentor and guide female students in various universities. She added that in many instances, scores of female students enroll at the university without primarily deciding their fields of study.

She said based on this, a lot of those students usually follow other colleagues, who are already certain to join them in the same fields of study.

At the same time, Dr. Edna Johnny is calling on all members of the institution, national government and international partners to financially assist the organization.

According to her, the institution is yet to be formally launched due to the lack of financial resources, despite ongoing plans for such a program. 

She said the organization is counting on the support of both its members (mentors) and mentees to start the ball rolling with their contribution to get done with some activities

Also speaking, Florence B. Koroma, Dean, Bishop Collins Teacher College, Stella Maris Polytechnic University said it is now time for female lecturers to help themselves and come together to help others in the field.

"I am going to encourage other female lecturers because this will help our education system," she said.

Koroma also called on the Liberian government to support female lecturers by providing them foreign scholarship opportunities to advance their human capacity.

At the same time, Angeline C. Major, Lecturer at the United Methodist University Joseph Jenkins Roberts Education College, told the gathering that there have been many challenges which hinder female lecturers.

She said they feel intimidated and overlooked by male lecturers at their various universities.

The program brought together veteran mentors with high profile educational backgrounds and their mentees.

The Association of Women Lecturers of Liberia goes by the motto, "A woman's pen breaks barriers and unlock opportunities".