Ellen Regrets “Education System Is A Mess” Statement

Former President Sirleaf cuts ribon to Best Brains University, the newly accredited tertiary education institution in Liberia.

— Says she spoke out of frustration and it was a strategy to compel her education officials to have worked hard and better

Liberia’s former President, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has said her previous statement that the country’s education system was a “mess” was said out of frustration, and was only intended to inspire officials at the time to do better in order to improve the system.

It can be recalled during her first cabinet meeting in March of 2012, former President Sirleaf branded Liberia’s education system as a “mess,” stating that it needed a complete overhaul.

Now, in her remarks on Monday, January 11, 2021, as she cut ribbons for the launch of Best Brains International University (BBIU) in Thinker’s Village, Paynesville, along the Robertsfield Highway, Madam Sirleaf said her statement was not about denigrating the system but it was a collective call for stakeholders to pay more attention to the education sector of the country.

“As I meant well then, so also I mean well today and I call for the collective effort of everyone to enhance the education sector of Liberia, our country,” she said.

The former President added that it would be prudent for citizens to make their own positive contributions to the sector rather than sitting and waiting for manna to fall from heaven and bring forth the necessary transformation.

The former Liberian leader said further that it is not often easy to find those who have been touched, willing to touch others as Rev. Luther Tarpeh and his wife, among others are doing.

Founded in 2012 by Rev. Dr. Luther Tarpeh, the Best Brains Academy has over the years groomed, identified, and developed a team of leaders who Rev. Tarpeh felt could help him carry the dream of providing quality education, not only at the grade school level but also at the college level.

He is the President of his newly accredited university college.

Madam Sirleaf urged would-be students of the BBIU to aspire for the greatest heights to determine what they want to be.

“Do not be deterred even by failure. It is the outside of success; pursue your goals, stay focused, learn as much as you can, she admonished.

Earlier, the Rev. Dr. Tarpeh, who is also the President of the BBIU, said the civil war shattered and broke down all sectors including education, and there was nothing much done in the country’s post-war era to shape the system for the good of society.      

According to Tarpeh, Madam Sirleaf’s statement that the the post war Liberian educational system as a “mess,” was a vivid description, stressing that it was characterized by rampant corruption and harassment of female students for sexual favours in exchange for grades.

“With a nation that has witnessed immense damage of our society, it would be hopeless trying to rebuild a broken nation without first fixing the educational system, allowing moral practices in tertiary institutions, and encouraging students to give their very best in their academic sojourn.

Tarpeh lauded former President Sirleaf for her enviable leadership role that helped change many things for the good of the country.

“We at the Best Brains Academy and the Best Brains International University will never cease to drink from the fountain of knowledge and wisdom. While others find pleasure in criticizing you, other nations, great men and women around the world, reverence you and always wish for your support in leadership,” he said.

The BBIU President added: “As a mark of respect for your great job to the country and people, we will have the “Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Lecture Series” that will annually bring together the best brains from all the universities in the country to discuss and debate all of the positive qualities of you, Madam President.”

Tarpeh said as a noble institution, they are committed to serve the country diligently and with humanity in general.

“Too often Africa is in the news for the wrong reasons. Our continent is featured in global media landscape either for corruption, poverty, diseases, wars, lacking no interest in democratic tenants or something else not in the interest of growth and development,” the BBIU President said.

Rev. Tarpeh said it is time to rethink strategies for training leaders to be problem solvers instead of just job seekers.

“Here at the Best Brains International University (BBIU), we are committed to academic excellence, the development of ethical leadership, nurturing collaborative working relationships with others, and a sense of patriotic spirit for country first,” he added.

Accredited by the Commission on Higher Education (CHE), Tarpeh said his university college will train students in several major academic and practical areas, including education, health, engineering, communication, among others.

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David S. Menjor is a Liberian journalist whose work, mainly in the print media has given so much meaning to the world of balanced and credible mass communication. David is married and interestingly he is also knowledgeable in the area of education since he has received some primary teacher training from the Kakata Rural Teacher Training Institute (KRTTI). David, after leaving Radio Five, a broadcast media outlet, in 2016, he took on the challenge to venture into the print media affairs with the Dailly Observer Newspaper. Since then he has created his own enviable space. He is a student at the University of Liberia.


  1. IT is as it is! Education now a days in Liberia is a mess. The entire education system is rotting. Not regret calling it as it is!

  2. Rev. Tarpeh said, “Too often Africa is in the news for the wrong reasons. Our continent is featured in global media landscape either for corruption, poverty, diseases, wars, lacking no interest in democratic tenants or something else not in the interest of growth and development.” Here is a man who has the right vision for the country. EJS has her faults but when she took over, the entire country was broken. She had to put all the pieces back together and it took a lot of time and hard work, and resources. The problems with us is, we have very short memory. Prince made a song called “when doves cry” and in it, there is a lyric that says, “maybe you’re just like my mother, she’s never satisfied.” This is how Liberians are. With that said, we have George Weah, and suddenly we appreciate EJS because most things ran smoothly during her administration. Workers got paid on time, the banks were running like a well oiled machine, etc. So, it’s okay to be critical but we must be thoughtful. EJS deserves this recognition indeed.

  3. Darn! Where and how have you been comrade Phil George? I hope while you were away, everything went well. Please note that you’ve been missed.

    Some of us continue to do our due diligence without being paid by Daily Observer. Almost three years of writing comments without being paid is not funny. But because of Liberian patriotism, I will continue to hang in there.

    Happy New Year buddy!

  4. Let that war criminal corrupt Ellen Johnson Sirleaf just go and fool her stooges and Joseph Boakai, or at least the Unity Party which allows her to use their whole Unity Party party as her personal political zombie, and not the rest of the Liberian people having long seen through her malodorous duplicities.

    If you Ellen could incite, foment, and finance you and your Charles Taylor ACDL NPFL war and destruction of the country and go on BBC and command your NPFL KILLERS AND DESTROYES TO LEVEL LIBERIA, and then come back to deny such statement, you must be out of your mind to expect anyone to listen to your lies about ”I spoke out of frustration and it was a strategy to compel my education officials to have worked hard and better” when the truth is that the educational system was actually deplorable.

    One should not be surprised to hear you lying that when you said ”you could put your neck on the chopping board that your corrupt ministers were not corrupt” even when the Auditor General was telling the world your government was the worst and most corrupt government in the history of the country.

    If a woman at that, will give funds to Charles Taylor to kill and destroy, and then come back to lie that she ”gave that money for humanitarian purposes”, this other big lies form her is according to her business as usual.

    • What a name, True Nationalist. A coward, who will not give his/her true identity! At least EJS, was not a coward to befriend dictator- Samuel K. Doe,who felt that his tribal people, the Krahns were better than all ethnic ground in this Republic. He slaughtered almost anyone who he felt were potential threat to his regime, his own co-mates who initiated the coup; kept thousands of the Dahn and Mahn people of Nimba out of Liberia, because they were his cattle to be slaughtered at will. So, what you wanted members of the Democratic forces to do, runaway or be a coward like you are; no, the actions to overthrow him was right yesterday, today and tomorrow.

  5. There was absolutely no need to change from our good [OLD] U.S’ format of public education; to any-other else. We had the U.S’ San Francisco system. What else is better? If we are to fix Liberia’s broken educational system, let’s re-adopt the San Francisco system and fix it. Under the San Francisco system, we were far better off. *That system was not broken. Yet, our leadership decided to fix/change it. I keep wondering why; do [WE] Liberians keep hurting ourselves??? Another big mistake, was changing Liberia’s electric grid from dual voltage-110/[email protected]/Cycle; to 220 [email protected] We now have to re-wire Liberia. It’s expensive. Very Expensive!😜

  6. Madam EJS, why are you regretting for the statement you made then? It was right then as it is today! Those you used your statement for the purpose of propaganda and political purposes know deep down in the recesses of their hearts, that you were right; but they just wanted an opportunity to criticized you because you had been hard on them. Look at the number of so-called Universities springing up like mushrooms on rotten stick, almost everybody building University and all are private, whether they have the laboratories, libraries and computer labs, as if that is not sufficient, do they have quality of staff to teach and do researched, all for making money on the backs of our deprived young people.
    The MOE accepts this practice.
    what is the strategic objectives of the MOE?


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