The Ministry of Education (MoE) on August 1, 2018, inducted into office 16 County Education Officers (CEOs) and 124 District Education Officers (DEOs) in the 15 political sub-divisions of the country.
The CEOs and DEOs were inducted with a strict mandate from the Minister of Education to perform their duties, to ensure that the goal of building a strong education system is achieved under President George Weah’s “Pro-poor Agenda.”
Ansu D. Sonii, Sr., Minister of Education, said DEOs and CEOs have been doing their best. But, unfortunately, their best is not good enough due to results from the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) for various schools, urging them to do more to improve the country’s education system.
Minister Sonii told CEOs and DEOs to work harder in making sure that there is an improvement in the education system, because they have direct oversight of schools’ administrations.
He said they are sharing the responsibility of the ministry, and urged CEOs and DEOs to develop a strong education system, adding that they were called to various counties to perform a task, not a queen contest. He said they are to perform those tasks without fear or favor but with respect for all of those working with them.
Minister Sonii said nation-building is the responsibility of every citizen, because the Liberia you want to see is the same that you must be, noting that the country cannot be better when its citizens are not better. He emphasized that teachers are an example of a good nation.
“We may not earn what others earn, but we are not envious of them, for many of those we trained have become greater than us. Yet we are still stepping stones; we will continue to build the nation even if we do not get the direct benefits. The job we do, rewards are not found in the pay check. I have never seen the steps moved before, but I have always seen people climbing the steps,” Sonii said.
“As old as I am, I have not found any rich teacher or principal, except if they did something wrong. Other than that, they cannot be rich out of the service they perform; but God has a way of blessing us in many other ways because we are bringing joy to other families whose sons and daughters are becoming ministers, presidents, legislators, lawyers, among others.”
Minister Sonii further told them that there are two natural resources given to every nation by God, which include the humans themselves and those that are there to help humans live the kind of life they want. Therefore, humans are more powerful and are expected to prosper while benefiting from that which God has entrusted to them.
“The human being is the mind, not the hand and feet because they do not think; it is that mind that directs the person to do something,” he said.
In brief remarks, Mrs. Cecelia Reeves, a representative of the CEOs and DEOs who were inducted into office, promised to work to the fullness of her ability, to ensure that there is a better education for every Liberian child.
Mrs. Reeves said if the CEOs and DEOs must be successful in building a strong education system, the government, through the Ministry of Education, needs to do more to implement those good policies that have been developed and kept on the shelf for years.
She said MoE needs to pay CEOs and DEOs as per their qualification, because they have their families and children to educate as well as provide their basic needs.
“If you will provide motorbikes, please give gas on time because some of those schools are far away. We are leaving our beds to travel to distant counties; provide for our resettlement. Do not leave us in the hands of those school principals, because our code of conduct forbids us from accepting bribes.” Mrs. Reeves said.