In an apparent reaction to the handling of activities at the National Commission on Higher Education (NCHE) over the years, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Monday, January 27, announced that a bill intended to streamline (update, reorganize) and improve the sector is in the offing at the 53rd National Legislature for enactment into law.
According to the President, if the bill is passed and enacted into law, the NCHE would have greater powers and the inclusion of additional commissioners who would see to it that the educational sector of the country— specifically at the tertiary level— is well coordinated and improved.
Since the creation of the NCHE through the Act of the National Legislature, the entity has been effectively manned by the director-general; Dr. Michael P. Slawon, with the assistance of President Sirleaf’s newly appointed deputy without portfolio, Dr. Kadiker Rex Dahn.
However, being cognizant of the need to improve the educational system, the Liberian leader, while delivering her Annual Message to the nation, at the National Legislature Monday, informed Liberians that an act to expand and improve the commission with the inclusion of other commissioners with various terms of references was well underway.
The exercise, according to the President, is to make the Commission more functional and proactive. It would have the full authority to regularly monitor the higher learning sector throughout the country; including its five community colleges.
In recent times, the Commission has busied itself with cracking down on persons and institutions of higher learning suspected of operating in the country with fake academic credentials.
The exercise to uncover those individuals and institutions suspected of being fraudulent is headed by Dr. Dahn and being assisted by its director for monitoring and evaluating, Reginald Mehnpeine.
Delivering her annual address, President Sirleaf also disclosed that due to the limited number of trained instructors to meet the demands of the community colleges, all efforts being made by the government to construct more colleges at the community level are hereby suspended.
Community colleges are presently operational in five of the 15 counties — Nimba, Bomi, Grand Bassa, Lofa and Grand Gedeh community colleges.