MCSS’ Proposed School Shut Down Draws Fire

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MCSS Superintendent, Benjamin Jacobs

The Superintendent of the Monrovia Consolidated Schools System (MCSS) Benjamin Jacobs has called for the government to shut down all public and private schools which do not have laboratories and libraries.  He said this is necessary in order to tackle the country’s messy education and improve huge gaps in the instructions. Moreover Mr. Jacobs said laboratories and libraries help to develop and modernize the education system so that students have access to practical work besides theory.

The MCSS Superintendent made the remarks last week during a panel discussion under the theme “Engaging Citizens on National Budget for Accountable Development.” It was held in the rotunda of the Capitol Building and was moderated by John Kollie.

It is part of the USAID funded five-year Liberia Media Development (LMD) program, also known as the USAID LMD Liberia Media Budget Monitoring for Accountability (LMBMA). The Internews is implementing the LMD programs, in partnership with the Liberia Media for Democratic Initiatives (LMDI).

The MCSS boss’ statement stemmed from what is widely expected to be negative results for students who wrote the 2018 West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) certificate.

But the MCSS boss’ proposal has however come under fire from several quarters including students who have expressed disagreement with the MCSS boss arguing that such a step will entail the shutting down of most schools in the country simply because they lack laboratories and libraries.

Says 11th grade J.J.Roberts High School student Vanessa Karn: “If we go by what Mr. Jacobs is saying, then it means there will be few schools in the country because most of the schools do not have laboratories and libraries” she stressed adding, “the best suggestion should be the government must design a plan to ensure all schools to have laboratories and libraries.”

Adding his voice to the debate, 10th grade student Thomas P. David of the Booker Washington Harris High School said, it would be better if the government, the World Bank or any private institution help schools to have laboratories and libraries than to close schools. “If we are serious, we can get laboratories or libraries than to shut schools down.”

Meanwhile, the MCSS boss and the remaining panelists during the dialogue urged the government to allocate at least 20% of the 2018/2019 budget to education.

The panelists included Sen. Dallas Gueh, the Senate chairman on education; Rep. Johnson Gwaikolo, the House’s chairman on education and Mr. Samuel Johnson, the secretary general of the National Teachers Association of Liberia.

Others included Mr. Urias Brooks of the You Movement for Collective Action and Mr. Anders Miamen, the executive director for the Center for Transparency and Accountability in Liberia (CENTAL).

They argued that the 2000 Dakar Framework for Education compels countries to allocate at least 20% of their annual budget as a collective commitment to achieving education for ‘every citizen in every society’ to be literate.

For his part, the head of Internews Liberia, Mr. Tawedzegwa Musitini said they hoped citizens’ perspectives on how national and local budgets impact their lives will really be covered in the budgets.

14 COMMENTS

  1. In proposing the closure of public schools that do not have libraries and laboratories MCSS Superintendent Benjamin Jacobs only proves that he is incompetent, uncaring, selfish and totally unworthy of his job. What in the world would be wrong with demanding that the government provide these critical facilities at once to bring the schools concerned up to par?

  2. Is that the best thinking Mr Jacobs can come up with? Seems like the students have far better ideas than him.
    So would he be happy for students to sit home while there is no near solution(s)?

  3. I wonder this other one knows what he is saying? Do you really know the definition of school closures in Liberia? You sound like one uneducated person Mr. Jacobs. Do you know how many of our children will get in trouble if you close school? Do you know what will happen when people are not encamp in school and they sit around doing nothing? what about gov’t aiding the process?

  4. I’m 100% supporting Mr Jacobs for his decision, i am also asking the leaders for this noble country to stand by Mr Jacobs in his decision.

    • Don’t be stupid too pastor. You ought to be praying for the man, not encouraging him towards more stupidities. Libraries and laboratories are in deed good educational tools and complimentary for any set of schools, but you don’t need to throw the current students away before providing these amenities. People like Mr. Jacobs and by extension people like you, supposed to be the ones explaining and simplifying life for the others in Liberia, not the other way around. So pray for wisdom for Mr. Jacobs next time, instead of nudging him for showing his ignorance and insensitivity in this case.

    • Pastor Cherty, I think your !00% supporting of Mr. Jacobs is wrong. Do you know what it will take to even bring zinc to Sinoe County to build a library and how long it will take? So what will happen to your children in Sinoe county that are in school now, do you want all of them to be sitting home while it takes about 10 years to build and host a libraries in the county? What Mr. Jacobs should be doing is to try and find means to see how to build a Libraries instead of calling for school closure. He should first of all see how many school under his system that have (MCSS ) a library . I want to proposed the site at the Capital Building- that big piece of Land in the fence to build a Library—-talk with the law makers to use that government property-it will be good for all the surring school, including LU.,

  5. Mr. Jacobs, you are not competent for this position. You are only the superintendent for the Monrovia Consolidated School Systems, You are not the Liberian Minister of education. your proposal is stupid, it shows that you have no clue about the position Your are occupying. Your proposal of closing down both private and Public Schools in Liberia, that have no Libraries and Laboratories, is beyond your scope of duty. you don’t know your duties as MCSS superintendent. You must be removed from office as soon as possible before you poison the whole Liberia school system. You have no experience for this position.

    • Dr. Railey, you are so right, that is what happen when the head of the fish is righting. This man have no clue of what he is saying, I don’t think he knows the MCSS school system that he lead. But he is a buddy of someone-so he is the superintendent of MCSS.

  6. Closing down of schools is a dangerous game and not in the interest of the pro-poor thinking Mr. MCSS’s Superintendent. As an Administrator and the one responsible to head this school system, you must clearly come up with a game plan that will create the solution to the numerous problems being faced with the system in Liberia.
    The first thing you ought to do is come up with a blueprint outlining the vision or plan that will be infused into the MCSS in order to remedy the problems. There should be a game plan outlining what needs to be done to improve and create laboratories and Libraries in all MCSS schools and followed by better teachers and educational text books.
    Talking and not walking it makes you to be like a toothless bulldog. The greatest philosophy of a good administrator of any responsibilities given you, is to be creative and making something out of nothing. One of the best thing for you to engage in is come up with a plan of action and outlining all the problems and the solutions and how to get financial and moral help to solve these problems.
    However, this must be in line with the ministry of education as is stipulated in the national budget. Good idea but not a good approach. Actually, Liberia needs improvement in its educational system and that is one of the best ways my friend,but let us do it in the rig

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