River Cess County Senator and chairperson on Senate Committee on Education, Dallas Gueh, has called for the need to systematically overhaul the country’s education sector, “because the sector requires a surgical solution.”
Sen. Gueh made the statement on Wednesday in Monrovia when he officially launched the “More 4 Education Advocacy Campaign” with support for USAID Liberia Accountability and Voice Initiative program that brought together local and international partners, representatives of civil society groups and a number of government officials.
Gueh said USAID and the Liberia Accountability and Voice Initiative (LAVI) have been recorded for their continued and tireless support to Liberia’s education sector. He therefore called on every Liberian to go beyond cosmetic solution and reform, to avert massive failure of students in public exams.
LAVI is improving the citizen-state relationship by supporting coalitions and advocacy campaigns to improve the education sector.
“A doctor treats a cause of an illness and the illness itself; if the cause of the illness is treated and eradicated, the illness will be cured, and this is what we need to do in the education sector, because education is savvy,” Sen. Gueh informed his audience.
He recalled how Liberia’s education system deteriorated since 1980, and not because of the 1990 civil war.
“Past leaders should have declared education a national emergency, not to wait for gun sound before we declare a state of emergency, or else the sector will continue to pose a high illiteracy rate to the present generation,” Sen. Gueh said.
USAID Mission Director, Dr. Anthony S. Chan, lauded the Liberian government for supporting the education sector.
“I think it is safe to say that every Liberian recognizes the vital role education plays in developing any nation; therefore, it is important to promote wealth by unifying the citizens from different tribal, religious and political backgrounds,” Chan said.
“USAID/LAVI is working with the government to improve the citizen-government relationship by supporting coalitions, such as the ‘More 4 Education National Advocacy Team for Education,’ which promotes voices of the common citizens,” he said.
He said one way to demonstrate support for the people is to allocate national resources in alignment with priorities.
According to Chan, while the Legislature has set aside nearly 15 percent of its total for education in the 2018/2019 budget, representing a small increase from 2017/2018, this is still not meeting the Global Partnership for Education’s recognized standard and best practice of 20 percent.