Prelate Advises Liberians
A Liberian educator and prelate has urged adult literacy learners of Alfalit International Liberia to exhibit the virtues of good thoughts and deeds which could bring good values.
Guest speaker Martin Kamara gave the admonition recently at the closing ceremony for 585 Alfalit Liberia adult literacy graduates held at the Johnson K. Baysawala Memorial High School in Paynesville, outside Monrovia.
Kamara told the graduates that education is a social service and not a commercial enterprise to give them access to education.
He also called on the Ministry of Education (MOE) and stakeholders in education to initiate plans that would compel school proprietors to abide by a uniform school fees system.
Kamara further underscored the need for the MOE to shoulder the responsibility of paying all the teachers and support staff in order to support all schools operating in the country.
He also reminded the graduates that the steps taken to pursue education are the best decisions and journeys that will empower them to live decent lives in their communities.
He, however, called on the graduates, Liberians and education stakeholders to consider the incentives and salaries of teachers and administrators in an effort to help ensure quality education in Liberia.
“Your precious time you the adult literacy learners take to come and acquire basic education is indeed far better than money and other material wealth,” Mr. Kamara stressed.
He further pointed out that the initiative launched by the Alfalit Liberia staff is the vision of sharing what they have learned with the ordinary Liberians across the country.
Mr. Kamara described education as an asset that one acquires; it becomes an everlasting treasure or knowledge that cannot be taken away from the learners by thieves in their communities.
The guest speaker called on lawmakers and other stakeholders in education to give practical support to Alfalit Liberia so that the light of literacy can be spread to all parts of the country.
In closing, Mr. Kamara extended thanks and appreciation to the Alfalit Liberia teachers and administrators for the splendid work being carried out in some parts of the country.
In remarks, the Executive Director of Alfalit International Liberia Rev. Emmanuel J. Giddings noted that for several important reasons, some of the adult literacy learners did not make it to the end of the term.
But, Rev. Giddings stressed that for those learners that braved the storm under the rain and sun and completed all terms, Alfalit Liberia says congratulations and best wishes.
“We have often said at many occasions that illiteracy is equal to blindness but, I have come to realize that illiteracy is far beyond the challenges of blindness,” Rev. Giddings noted.
He added that some blind people are able to express themselves well and associate with people of different backgrounds and be able to render some well-organized services.
But, illiteracy, Rev. Giddings warned, is like leprosy and as Liberians and others are aware, lepers are normally separated from people who are not physically challenged in any society.
Today, Rev. Giddings stressed that instead of the adult literacy learners feeling isolated, surpressed and powerless, they now feel and know that they are very powerful and adequate in their communities.
He, however, observed that in some instances, because of the previous conditions of the adult literacy learners, they were abused, molested and exploited in their various communities.
In the specific case of women, Rev. Giddings noted, some were abused by some men who the women helped to make them to be somebody adding, some of the men turned to the women and told them that they were nobody anymore in their lives.
But, said Rev. Giddings, thank God that they are where they are and no longer isolated and considered as lepers and no longer afraid of ordinary people in their various communities.
“You have gained a new level of power and I encourage you to exercise the newly acquired power to tell those that exploited and abused you that you have seen the light of literacy at the end of the storm,” Rev. Giddings stressed.
For his part, Area Coordinator of Alfalit Liberia of Upper Montserrado County, Dennis F. Boakai extended thanks to the sponsors of Alfalit International and urged the graduates to go out in pride and dignity.
During the closing program, some of the adult literacy learners especially, the women gave emotional testimonies in which they said, no one is able to manipulate, exploit and abuse them any longer in their daily interactions.