Liberia: ‘Qualified Teachers Central to Quality Education’
— Isaac Doe, Deputy Youth and Sports Minister, stresses as he addressed LICOSESS graduates
It is nothing short of a fact, nor is it simple that countries making advancements in developments, both infrastructural and human, are succeeding because their education systems are thriving.
With Liberia being among the countries still struggling to ensure there is advancement and improvement in its education sector, Isaac Doe did not fall short of joining many voices who believe that there can be “no quality education without qualified instructors.”
In his delivery of the keynote address over the weekend at the graduation ceremonies of the Liberia Cooperative Standard Education School System (LICOSESS) in Kakata, Margibi County, Doe noted with emphasis that there is no quality education system anywhere in the world-over without well trained, competent and qualified teachers.
Doe is the deputy minister for youth development at the Ministry of Youth and Sports, and he spoke to his audience on the theme “Being an agent of change and making your worth count.”
He said for one to be an agent of change and ensure that his or her worth counts, it is not by blaming other people or complaining about the faults but standing up and taking up a challenge to contribute to something positive for the betterment of society.
“Dr. John Esau, a popular American advisor who is popularly featured in the media, referred to an agent of change as “someone who looks around and refuses to focus on what someone else should do or simply unhappy about the way things are, but a person who wants to make things better.”
Doe was specific when he told the 73 graduates that if their selection of a career in the education sector is about fast money making or harmful exploits against students, then, they have misplaced their choice, each.
“I am very sure you want to make Liberia better, especially from the angle of education. Today, as you graduate, I am sure you have known the task ahead. The tremendous responsibility that lies ahead of you needs no overemphasis. It is no secret that Liberia as a country has too much to be done in its education sector,” he admonished.
He encouraged them to consider themselves as beacons of hope, noting that the perception suggesting that the education system of Liberia is a mess is only an opinion and can be thwarted by good and quality service delivery by teachers.
“We believe that with you being on board, we will see the Liberian education system taken from where people call it a mess to something of greatness,” Doe said.
He pointed out to the graduates that their graduation should not be seen as an achievement unless each of them makes the needed impact in their respective classrooms or administrations.
According to the keynote speaker, while people hold the thought that doctors and nurses are the best because they save lives and others believe that those in the security apparatus are the best because they provide safety, teachers are first among all career professionals because all others are taught how to do what they are supposed to do by certain teachers.
Doe concluded by telling the teachers that their success is not based on toughness or many students failing when they administer tests or exams but their actions that lead to the success of the students, the real impact.
Emmanuel S. J. Winnie, the valedictorian who emerged from the Department of General Science was crystal clear when he centered his speech on decision making for the future as the most important thing anyone can possibly make in life.
Winnie said decisions made by anyone could take him or her forward or lead to delay in progress and happiness.
The valedictorian listed hard work, review of past decisions, taking note of the consequences or benefits of the decision one makes as well as making sure that one becomes that actual architect of his or her own decision rather than waiting on other people to decide his or her destiny.
“There is no good reason to keep blaming people for your misfortune. It is good to stand up, work hard, reflect and think well as you make another decision that can possibly take you to a better stage in life,” Winnie said as he concluded his remarks.
For Stephen Toe, County Education Officer (CEO) of Margibi, LICOSESS is an asset to the country and the Ministry of Education (MOE) is pleased with the contribution the College is making in manpower capacity development.
“LICOSESS is a sincere partner to MOE. Its president, Dr. Benjamin Wehye is a major contributor to all of the important policies the Ministry has made and continues to make in recent times,” Toe said.
He noted that the education field is no longer a place for people who believe it is a career for the less busy but a genuine nation building corridor.
“This is why there is licensing as it is done in the health sector and the legal profession. If you don’t have your license, you are not qualified to teach in our schools anymore. Thankfully you are on the right path,” Toe told the graduates.
Samuel G. Paye is the coordinator for the LICOSESS Margibi Site. Paye noted that the decision three years ago that led to the opening of a site for LICOSESS in Margibi was a great decision that is now paying off.
He reported that thirty nine (39) were qualified for “C” Certificate, a number of which 19 are females and 20 are males while 34 were qualified for Associate Degree, a number of which 7 are females and 27 males.
LICOSESS President, Benjamin Wehye was pleased that among the eleven counties in which his university college is training teachers, Margibi is making steady progress, too.
Wehye, who borrowed from the valedictorian, said the decision made by each of the graduates has paid off and the best will come out of their sacrifices to make learning better.
According to LICOSSESS's president every one, be it a child or an adult, has a purpose in life and as such the teachers should never look down on any student.
“No student is dull or a failure. Do your best to give them the best of your attention,” he said.
He announced that Winnie, the valedictorian, has been awarded a scholarship to continue his education at the BSc level in education.