‘Gov’t Lacks Funding to Hire Qualified Teachers’

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Minister Tweah was Liberia's 171st Independence Day speaker. (Photo: Executive Mansion)

-Says Finance Minister Tweah

The current shortage of qualified teachers in classrooms across the country is far from relief as the Liberian government doesn’t plan to hire qualified teachers anytime soon.

Finance and Development Planning Minister and National Independence Day Orator, Samuel Tweah, in his July 26 address, said currently the government lacks the needed resources to address the country’s persistent need for qualified teachers.

“The number of sub-standard teachers providing instruction in schools is still too large, but attracting higher quality teachers has serious cost implications because the 2018/19 national budget has absorbed some 2,000 healthcare workers.

“The fiscal space to take on 6,000 new teachers that are needed to close what has been called the teaching gap is not available,” Min. Tweah said.

However, he has suggested that the government develops a national service scheme policy to address once and for all the continued shortage of qualified teachers in schools across the country.

Mr. Tweah noted that such a scheme could drastically reduce the high level of sub-standard teachers in classrooms across the country, thereby addressing Liberia’s human capital need.

He added that the poor state of human capital development underpins the country’s transformation because a nation is only as good as the quality of its human and institutional capabilities.

“For the scheme to work properly and address our need for qualified teachers, it should be attached to scholarships for advanced degrees in order to attract qualified university graduates into the teaching field.

“It is important to overhaul the whole structure and foundation of government scholarship programs, linking scholarship to national service. The Ministry of Education already has a program to attract a small number of college folks. We just have to blow this out. This scheme can help make the difference but it provides incentive (scholarship) to qualified university graduates to venture into the teaching field. This is the easiest way government can close the teaching gap.

“We should all push our students to work harder and strive for excellence. This program can compete with centers of gambling and gaming that now distract our youth from a productive focus on their school work. The government, development partners and non-governmental organizations should work together to develop and sustain such a program,” Mr. Tweah said.

The UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) report — released during the 2016 celebration of the World Teacher Day — highlights that Sub-Saharan Africa faces the largest teacher gap.

source: Quartz Africa

The report revealed that in sub-Saharan Africa– the region with the fastest growing school-age population – more than 70% of the student population in countries in sub-Saharan Africa face teacher shortages in primary schools, while 90% do not have enough secondary teachers.

The report added in order to meet sustainable development goal four, which specifically calls for more qualified teachers and more teacher training in developing countries, roughly 17 million primary and secondary teachers will need to be recruited and trained in sub-Saharan Africa within the next 14 years.

Furthermore, this has led to overcrowding of classrooms across the continent. UIS estimates show that in 15 African countries, primary school classrooms are overcrowded, with each trained teacher typically having more than 40 pupils.

source: Quartz Africa

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9 COMMENTS

  1. The great philosopher Aristotle once said, “All who have meditated on the art of governing mankind have been convinced that the fate of empires depends on the education of youth.”

    When will Liberia ever acknowledge this important concept and stop giving excuses “Gov’t lacks funding to hire qualified teachers” when it pertains to educating the youths of Liberia? It is ridiculous to note that a small country like Liberia from past to present government spends the bulk of its fiscal budget on ridiculously over-bloated government employees’ salaries when Liberia’s illiteracy rate stands above 57%?

    The high illiteracy rate in Liberia is one of the key factors Liberia is so undeveloped today. If Liberia had a highly educated and functioning society, I believe it would have been much difficult for few political self-aggrandizing war mongers, power-thirsty blood suckers to blindly fool so many Liberian youths to pick up arms to destroy their own country.

    Though this is a new government, it is morally imperative for this government, whose political ideology of a “Pro-Poor Government” is to alleviate the sufferings of Liberian poor masses, to make educating Liberian youths its almost priority. As Aristotle reminds us, “The fate of empires depends on the education of youth.” Similarly, the fate of Liberia depends on educating its youths.

    If Minister Tweah is really serious, there are many innovative ways Liberia could tackle its massive illiteracy problem. Yes indeed, there are some Liberians, many scholarship recipients, even some fat lawmakers, who got free education on the backs of Liberian tax payers, but never give anything back in return.…like national teaching service or volunteer service. A national teaching service for those scholarship recipients to give back to Liberia is only one good idea.

    However, why not study the remarkable educational system of a poor country like Cuba that launched an aggressive “Literary Campaign” which resulted in Cuba having one of the best educational systems in Latin America with a 100% literacy rate.

    Cuba’s Literary Campaign when implemented saw students from urban areas going into rural areas teaching illiterate peasants how to read and write. Also a poor country like Cuba spends most of its meager budget on education. Today, Cuba doctors can be found rendering their services around the world.

    There are many ways to skin Liberia’s problematic cat which is illiteracy. Therefore, Minister Tweah, let this “Pro-Poor” Government come up with innovative ways like Cuba did in cutting down its illiteracy problem.

    Someone also said, “Teaching is not a lost art, but the regard for it is a lost tradition.” Therefore, Liberia needs to resurrect that lost tradition of training good teachers if we seriously want to move our beloved country, called Mama Liberia, forward.

    • Both the Executive and the legislative Branch of Government need to decide if they want the young generation in Liberia to progress and advance. The only way some of these problems can be solve is to cut down the heavy salaries for legislative, and expenses vehicle that the government is buying for government official, and cut down the number of states visit, especially when you got between 1& 20 delegations on a trip.
      Remember PRO-POOR Education is the back boon of any society-Country

  2. Liberia WILL to be better is worthless if Liberians do not have the will to prepare for the feature. It is often said that, “once there is a will, there must also be a way”. Every nation has that will, however; it is those nations that prepare ahead, are the one that achieve better status. Time and time again, we hear our government officials complaining of insufficient resources to undertake projects for the betterment of its citizen, and yet officials of government are taken lengthy trips overseas.

    Austerity measures to sequestrate budgets on government officials travelling out of the country on lengthy trips, should be streamline. Other areas of wasteful spending should be cut. Those funds can be redirected into educational budget.

    Liberia is blessed with natural resources. Unlike other developing countries like Cuba, Nepal which have high literacy rate than Liberia, they do no have the amount of resources Liberia has, and yet, we still lagged behind in education. We lack fiscal budget allocation when it comes to spending on education. Just recently, our government was successful to signed almost a 1 billion dollar loan. Absolutely, there was not a cent throwing toward education, and our finance minister is talking about lack of fund for education. The next 45 to 50 years, our grandchildren will be calling the Chinese back to come and rehabilitate our roads, bridges, and airports that they are now building.

    No one can go WRONG, investing in education.

  3. So that was another pro-poor government Lie of His Excellency Dr. George Weah that 6,000 teachers from the Federal Republic of Nigeria were on the way to teach in Liberian schools ? Were they expecting the Federal government of Nigeria to cover all the cost associated with teaching in the schools , while passing a budget whereby the lion share is rewarded to the office of the President and the lawmakers ? Dr. Weah , promises made just to receive political praise and worship, but never carried becomes Lies . Just as promise made to put roofs on some houses , but never carried out. One thing though, do you think before speaking ? Or is it because the the citizens are too busy thinking about their next meal that they won’t notice every Lies that were promised ? Through the hardship, Dr. Weah , you will not be able to fool them too long . Be patient , His Excellency , President Dr. Weah says , the Nigerian teachers are coming . Believe it or not . As the regime has become to cry.

    • Go and do your home work or follow up on the president promises before coming up with this deluded vibration of yours called cons. Being in opposition does not necessary means that the president is wronged at all times while you are the wise ones seeing things from the outside. The president made of proposal to have foreign teachers from Nigeria filled in the gap most likely at the expense of the Nigerian government.This became another stupid distractions that the government did not value Liberia teachers. Meanwhile, most of us were taught by foreign teachers in private and public schools, yet we jump to discredit the government over such step. According to the information Minister today, some of the foreign teachers are now in Liberia as promised by the president. I say again bla bla will not help you folks on the left to gain political points at the expense of a government with true intentions for her people. Perhaps you all on the left side of the political spectrum can volunteer to help make our people literate by going to rural areas to teach and open their eyes as you claim of their eyes being close to the truth.

  4. In such an education market where the State has not allocated 30% of the national Budget for education qualified teachers Need to exploit the demand for Quality teachers by forming Private School Systems and availing their Services to Missionary Educational Institutions which maximise compensation for teachers.

    Additionally, when these teachers travel abroad during their sabotical they have the right to exploit online Training opportunities from educational institutions outside of Liberia which have prioritzed Distance Learning and online learning using the Internet to Augment their depressed incomes in Liberia.

    This way they Keep developing their skills , get compensated appropiately while the Liberian state gets it priority straight about increasing the compensation of Qualified Liberian teachers.

  5. Yet the political party now running the Government opted to run a Senatorial candidate whose vacant seat in the House will now cost the Liberian people half a million to replace. That 500k in potential savings could have been used for the education sector.

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