The Plenary of the House of Representatives has empowered the Committees on Education and Judiciary to investigate complaints from the National Teachers Association of Liberia (NTAL), including the stalemate between the NTAL and the Ministry of Education.
The two committees, chaired by Representatives Dr. Isaac Roland and Worlea Saywah Dunah of Maryland and Nimba, respectively, are expected to jointly probe and report to Plenary, on or before Tuesday, Nov. 15.
The decision was reached yesterday, Tuesday, November 8, on the first day of the 2nd Extraordinary Session.
The longstanding conflict between the NTAL and the Education Ministry emerged when the Ministry decided to outsource a portion of the country’s Public Primary School system to Bridge International Academies and other private providers.
The NTAL accused Education Minister George Werner and other Ministry officials of constant violations of the 1986 Liberian Constitution, the Education Law and human rights by privatizing the education system and dismissing teachers and the leaderships of teachers’ unions in Margibi and Montserrado counties, among others.
The Ministry of Education, on the other hand, accused the dismissed teachers and education workers of violating the country’s labor law and the Civil Service Standing Orders.
In the NTAL’s formal complaint to the House of Representatives, which was read yesterday, it spoke of provocations and violations of their rights that need urgent intervention in order to maintain the country’s fragile peace.
“As a matter of information, the differences between the Education Ministry and the NTAL started when the Ministry decided to outsource portion of our Public Primary School system to profit-making providers such as Bridge International Academies and other private providers including BRAC, an agricultural NGO, Omega, a Ghanaian firm, and many others,” the NTAL noted.
The House’s Plenary also mandated the Committees on Rules, Order and Administration and Youth and Sports to investigate the complaints from the ECOWAS Civil Society Movement of Liberia (ECSOMOL) against the Ministry of Youth and Sports for allegedly sabotaging ECOWAS programs and projects in the country. The youth group accused Youth and Sports Minister Saah Charles N’Tow and Deputy Minister for Youth Development Lance Gonyon.
The Committee on Rules, Order and Administration is chaired Grand Bassa lawmaker J. Byron Brown, while the Youth and Sports Committee is headed by J. Gabriel Nyenkan. There was no timeline attached for the Committee to report to Plenary.
This is the first task by each of the four committees since they were overhauled by the new leadership of Speaker J. Emmanuel Nuquay and Deputy Speaker Hans M. Barchue.