CDC Gov’t Pushes for Tuition, WASSCE Fees Relief

8
1424
The bill, when it becomes law, will cause the University of Liberia, Tubman University and community colleges around the country to be overwhelmed by the presence of huge number of students.

for public universities and secondary students

What would be a relief to public university and secondary students and praiseworthy to the CDC-led government is appearing on the floor of the House of Representative with recently defeated senatorial candidate and Montserrado County District #5 Representative, Thomas Fallah, submitting a bill seeking to legalize tuitions free academic institutions and payment of the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) for 9th and 12th graders respectively.

With its appearance on the floor for the first time on Thursday, January 14, 2021, a motion proffered by Margibi County District #4 Representatative Ben Fofana compelled the bill to be forwarded to the Committee on Education and Public Administration, and Ways, Means, Finance and Development Planning. The Joint Committee will report in two (2) weeks.

If approved by the House of Representatives, the Senate, and the President and then printed into a handbill, It will relieve underprivileged students of financial burden that causes them to spend more years in pursuit of an undergraduate degree.

In his communication to the House Plenary, Rep. Fallah said the bill intends to legalize tuition waiver for all public universities and colleges and the payment for WASCCE fees for 12th and 9th grades respectively. This is arguably the first bill coming from Rep. Fallah since the 54th Legislature began work three years ago.

The bill, when it becomes law, will cause the University of Liberia, Tubman University and community colleges around the country to be overwhelmed by the presence of huge number of students.

As the bill gets on the floor to be vetted with legislative and public scrutiny, Education Professor at the University of Liberia Graduate School, Mwalimu-Koh Blonkanjay Jackson, says while it may be a good idea to have such a law, it is also good that the person proffering it identifies the source of funding to facilitate such a venture.

Mr. Jackson, in a telephone interview with the Daily Observer on January 14, said: “Declaring tuition free institution requires proper planning and research. You know that the President declared tuition free for universities here, and before that the universities were collecting fees. So if the government would by law make tuition free public universities and community colleges, it must identify the source of funding and the will power to implement such a law must be in place.”

He added that since the President began paying WASSCE fees for junior and senior secondary students, the very schools have devised income strategies in the form of library fees, Parent Teacher Association (PTA) fees and others that cover equally or perhaps in excess of what students were paying before. He, therefore, said “When you make such a law, the source of funding and the implementation must commensurate with the law.”

The bill seeking tuition free universities and waiver of WASSCE fees for junior and secondary students by the CDC lawmaker is coinciding with President Weah’s unannounced tour to five public secondary schools in Monrovia and its surburbs.

The five schools visited included William V.S. Tubman High, Monrovia Demonstration, Newport High, Boatswain and the D. Twe High.

Accordingly, owing to the inadequate sitting capacity for students, the President mandated Finance Minister Samuel Tweah to ensure that sufficient arm chairs are purchased for schools in need. He ordered the purchase of 100,000 arm chairs.

He emphasized that local vendors, rather than foreign importers, should be prioritized in procuring the arm chairs.

President Weah assured students and administrators of the schools visited that he would ensure that the Government creates a conductive atmosphere for learning, including equipping libraries and laboratories.

8 COMMENTS

  1. That’s what you get when you elect amateurs to govern A COUNTRY! How and where will you generate revenues to subsidize this expenditure? I guess from another donor organization/country? Honestly, most of you guys in the Liberian legislature are unqualified to lead, reason for which we are who we are today.

  2. Free Education: A Right, For A Better Liberia

    That’s one of the best step in the right direction. People will always say, “where will the money come from to subsidize that undertaking.” Well, if one senator taking $15,000.00 per month, riding SUV costing $27,000 + . A WASSCE fees for one student is just $65.00 . Tuition for a public college from freshman to graduation day might not be more than $2,500 total ( I mean public college, not private).
    Those who are the ‘veteran politicians’ and other political leaders who been around since the good-old economy days, haven’t had the mind to prioritize quality education. One will not know how far we are lacking behind until he/she leaves Liberia and decide to get educated somewhere else.

    What Cuba and other countries who make college education affordable have? They may not even have the natural resources we have. But yet, Cuba produce more quality doctors and scientists than the whole of sub Saharan Africa put together. During our Ebola outbreak Cuba, a third world nation like us, could sent doctors around the globe.

    Mismanagement of resources should not be prioritized over subsidizing education….
    Giving the current state of affairs of the nation, we need to invest heavily in quality education to have a quality and productive human resource capacity base that will elevate the standard of living of the Liberian People. Beginning from the bottom. By providing tuition free public colleges and secondary education, this will serve as the base that will revamp our literacy rate.

    Allocation of resources for education….
    If we can give lawmakers $15,000 every 30 days along with gasoline slips for not doing nothing but riding big cars, let’s cut it by half and spend that on education. Look for other wasteful spending area in government and slice it. This will be beneficial not only to the country, but also to the lawmakers themselves. Because it will stop them from dying in Ghana. We will have good doctors, nurse practitioners to look after everyone. Quality engineers and scientists will build our bridges and roads. Liberians will not be serving as foremen and field supervisors for Chinese Engineering Firms. Like what we had in Bong Mines, Firestone or LAMCO in years back.

    Mamadu Bah (N/P) Adelaide, Australia

  3. I hope the CDC and Fallah will lend careful and attentive ears to the concern of Professor Jackson!

    We understand Rep. Fallah wants to show his relevance in the House. He wants for the Liberian people to know he has also proposed a bill. But Honorable, I beg you, do NOT destroy the already beleaguered school system of Liberia.

    You first need to maintain a peaceful atmosphere to attract investors, augment revenue generation and create more jobs, then earmark a source that can adequately and sustainably fund public schools and underwrite Grades 9 and 12 WASCE’s fees before you can introduce your bill. Doing it now will be disastrous for our children’s future.

    To those of you who are concerned about our public schools being overwhelmed, let me assure you that it will indeed be a positive development for Liberia to see lecture halls jam-packed. It will mean a better and brighter future for Liberia, I therefore pray we can get to that point.
    However, we need to recruit the right professors, improve the standards and capacities of our infrastructures and provide other incentives to make learning enjoyable and enviable.

    CDC, we beg you guys, you need to cool off until the dawn of 2023. Do your best to maintain things as you took them until the end of your term. We will pick up from where Ellen left things. But please, guys, don’t destroy anything, we beg you guys!

  4. At each time the Government decide to have tuition free the contrary can increase the registration fees more than what students paid before. If the law makers will reduce their salary and increase the public schools and universities subsidy then there will be administrative and operational funds to uphold the schools..

  5. I think there’s a sense of grandiosity within the ranks of Liberian lawmakers. Because of that, the lawmakers feel emboldened to introduce all kinds of legislations without doing an introspection. It’s imperative for the lawmakers to ask themselves this question…….”does our self-interest take precedence over the interest of our country”?

    Bah (the Liberian Aussie) and S. K. Gaye have made valid points on this important issue. I concur with them.

    The Argument:
    The lawmakers of Liberia earn exorbitant salaries! In addition to their humongous salaries, the lawmakers receive all kinds of perks that are unavailable to the average Liberian and the future leaders of Liberia….the students!
    Liberian students do not have their full set of textbooks! Liberian students do not have enough desks in most schools nationwide. Liberian students’ hygienic facilities (toilets) are deplorable. Some Liberian students are malnourished. More importantly, the school system of Liberia needs a new curriculum.

    Source of Funding/Solution….
    Personally, I am not a Dillon acolyte because he is an active member of the disorganized opposition. Irrespective of his politics, I think Dillon’s call for the outrageous salaries of Liberia’s lawmakers to be slashed is a smart place to start from in terms of funding our schools. As far as I am concerned, it’s okay for the lawmakers to keep their SUVs, their gas slips, their air-conditioned offices and their insurance plans. However, because the country is cash-strapped and because the students are the future leaders of our country, the improvement of schools should be front and center! Instead of borrowing money from the IMF for the improvement of schools, a pay cut of at least 30% will be a genius idea. A pay cut (if it were to be seriously considered) would bring thousands of dollars to the school system of Liberia.

  6. There’s a fundamental difference between the words “run and ruin”. But at the same time, there are a cohort of Sub-saharan Africans in Liberia who do not sit for a minute to differenciate or even study the difference between the two words. Because of their failure or perhaps their weaknesses, they communicate mixed messages about how our country will be governed. Never mind that those Africans in Liberia do not have a cohesive plan of organization. The most important issue here is this:
    If those Sub-saharan Africans are given the opportunity to lead Liberia, they will not “run” Liberia, but will rather “ruin” Liberia.

  7. Having suffered a massive defeat at the a polls, CDC stalwarts have suddenly become inspired and are now making every desperate attempt to prove to the Liberian people they are now serious about national development.

    This is good, but however, like a philosopher once said, “Inspiration does speaks one language, yet perspiration speaks another language.” In other words, being suddenly charged-up from the experiences of an event, particularly one that is humiliating as such, is not enough. Weah’s CDC supporters will have to walk their talks.

    And as Professor Jackson stated as reported from the Daily Observer, it is important that the source of funding free education “be identified.” Not so, this will just be another case of sounding brass and tinkling cymbals.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here