-Veteran educator says at PCC’s teacher training seminar
One of the most critical but contentious areas of the current development drive of the country is how to mend the present state of the country’s education sector, which a veteran Liberian educator, based in the United states, has said “is fixable.”
Madam Elaine Saba said what is needed is all hands on deck and bringing on board committed people who have the requisite experiences that would help rebrand the sector.
“And this problem is fixable. We just need a little bit of time to work, because this will not be overnight,” she said.
Madam Saba spoke at the start of a two-week intensive “Train Teacher” seminar, which is being hosted by the Paynesville City Corporation (PCC) where she is serving as a lead facilitator.
The training brought together over 60 teachers from across Paynesville and other parts of Monrovia.
Madam Saba is a retired educator. She holds a lifetime license from the State of Texas to teach primary and secondary education; instructing students in Creative Writing, English as a Second Language, and the Gifted and Talented programs.
She taught in the state of Texas for over 27 years, and is retired. She is currently training teachers, while at the same time having a small after-school business where she prepares school kids to be successful in state exams.
Despite the huge challenges the Liberian education sector faces, Madam Saba said it is fixable and can be one of the best in the region if the appropriate investments are made with the right people in charge.
According to her, the compassion in her heart is too huge for “us to fix this problem. The crisis in the sector did not just happen overnight, it will take some time. But we [have] to do some proper planning and bring in people who know what they are doing. This is a case that deals with experience and people who have been in the classrooms.”
The PCC’s seminar will be held from Monday to Friday, July 23 thru August 3. It will not only entail formal discussions but will be a place where professional skills training programs are developed, taking into account context specifics, transfer-ability and operational issues.
“Learning is an interactive process. We are here to teach with the overarching aim of bettering our children in the education sector,” she said.
“The lesson plans must be in line with the national curriculum. You cannot stray from the curriculum, which should be the bible of every teacher. So I am teaching the participants how to write lesson plans to go along with the curriculum and keep the students on course,” Madam Saba said.
Paynesville Mayor E. Pam Belcher-Taylor, said that the seminar is the municipal government’s effort to adequately prepare teachers within the city limits and beyond for the next academic school year.
She organized the seminar as part of PCC’s Independence Day celebration, saying, “when you impact someone with knowledge, you have given that person lifetime independence, and this is what we thought to do this year. We want to make our young people independent when it comes to education.”
The Mayor also said that the PCC and the facilitator will shortly begin a tutorial program for high school students, to enable students prepare for standardized exams, such as the West African Senior School Certificate Exam and others,” Mayor Taylor said.