— 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.