Deputy Education Minister Latim Da–Thong has called on his colleagues in the education sector to work together to improve the country’s educational standard.
Da-Thong’s call was contained in a statement he delivered at the opening session of the Joint Education Sector Review involving education officials and partners in Ganta City, Nimba County, on Monday, November 5.
“We have come a long way in the education sector, but we more to go, if we want to achieve our goal of providing quality education for every single Liberian child; we should work with our President to achieve his PAPD, under which education comes in the first pillar.”
Minister Da Thong, who spoke on behalf of the MOE due to the absence of the Minister, Prof. Ansu Sonii, welcomed the participants to the symposium and encouraged them to work together for the improvement of the education system in the country.
He said the review will allow them to see the progress made in the past and also to “open our eyes to the reality of the challenges we have ahead, but these challenges are not insurmountable.”
Minister Da-Thong said that in the process, he expects them to look at the prevailing circumstances and carve a new operational plan that should be both inspirational and ambitious in tackling the challenges ahead.
Officials from the Ministry of Education are expected to spend at least five days in Ganta, looking at the past and planning other ideas for the betterment of the education system in Liberia.
The opening brought nearly the entire senior staff of the MOE together, including deputy ministers, their assistant ministers and the county education officers, representing the 15 counties, regional education officers as well as civil society organizations (CSOs) and other stakeholders.
Representatives from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the World Bank and partners in progress are part of the ongoing review, which is held under the banner: “2018 Joint Education Sector Review” and under the theme, “Quality Education for all: reviewing the gains and planning for the future.”
In the Joint Education Sector Review (JESR), all education actors, especially the County Education Officers (CEOs), are expected to make a report, indicating progress and challenges wherein a county working session, the development of priorities to strengthen county education systems will be discussed or formulated.
Presentations of thematic areas like Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Development, basic and secondary, teacher education, TVET, governance and management, and higher education will be discussed or looked at. At the close of the review there will be a reading and adoption of the JESR roundtable declaration.
The Deputy Minister of Education for Planning, Research, and Development Alton V. Kesselly explained in an overview that the review will be both hindsight and forward-looking; in the hindsight, they will assess progress in the ongoing fiscal year by looking at implementation progress against planned activities and targets, while at the same time they will look at the implementation and recommendations by the previous JESR.
They will also review progress in the non-key sector indicators as well as key reforms over the last years to facilitate discussion around relevance and recommendations and recognize counties with high results in learning, access equity and quality as part of the hindsight exercise.
In the forward-looking, they are going to review the operational plan for fiscal year 2018/2019 and assess the financing arrangements, availability, government and partners’ commitment and funding gaps for key components of the plan.
The ministry will also be looking at review implementation modalities, coordination, and harmonization as part of the forward-looking.
However, the Civil Society representative at the occasion, Mr. Anderson Miamen, called on the Ministry to ensure the full implementation of whatsoever that will be planned.
He said implementation of the plan remains one of the key challenges the Ministry of Education faces, something he called on the MOE to take into consideration and ensure that anything planned should be fully implemented and full support should be given to the County Education Officers and District Education Officers in the same regard.