IDI Rallies Citizens for More Investment in Education

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Participants at the launch of the education program.

Implementation of the Education Reform Act of 2011 and payment of the 60% signature bonuses  from concession companies to be enforced

By Tina S. Mehnpaine

The Inclusive Development Initiative (IDI) with funding from the USAID through the Liberia Accountability and Voice Initiative (LAVI) recently conducted a series of forums in three counties to raise awareness and promote increased investment in education.

The forums held in Grand Cape Mount, Nimba and Bong counties also focused on sharing updates on the “More4Education” campaign and recommendations gathered from the research conducted by IDI on the implementation of the Education Reform Act of 2011 with emphasis on chapter 9.1 which relates to Education Financing.

Attending the forums last February were educational stakeholders including county authorities, civil society and community based organizations, women and youth groups, as well as international partners

Eugene Gray, LAVI Education Specialist and  Program Manger cautioned participants on the research findings, stating that the findings should be used primarily as a first step of engagement with Lawmakers with emphasis on the payment of the 60% signature bonuses (commitment) from concession companies.

“It is now your duty as citizens to investigate as to what was or has been the allotment made by the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning per year based on these signature bonuses collected from each concession agreement,” he advised.

Edwin Korla, Robertsport City Mayor said these financial issues were information that Lawmakers and government have failed to disseminate and have hidden from them.

“I want to appreciate USAID for Supporting IDI  in undertaking this brilliant research that has opened our eyes to those policies and information that have not been implemented” the Mayor said.

Ahammed M. Fahnbulleh an instructor of the Ministry of Education said logistical constraints have been a major problem for education officers in carrying out their responsibilities of monitoring schools.

“We have had problems monitoring schools in the past due to deplorable road conditions, lack of salaries for teachers and the lack of logistics,” he complained.

“We need to ensure that those signature bonuses collected from concessionaires are implemented,” he said.

Hassan U. Kiazulu member of the Minor River Union Youth Parliament (MRUYP) said that the lack of information about financial issues is seriously hampering the lives especially of the youths. “The government does not educate the citizens on those financial matters effecting our education, “he said.

His organization intends to set up a task force that will be robust and vigorous in enforcing the compliance of the 60% commitment by concession companies, Kiazulu said.

“These measures will enhance accountability and raise the funding needed to revamp the education sector” Kiazulu added.

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