Authorities at the Ministry of Education (MOE) Wednesday, February 5th, concluded a one-day workshop on National Validation on the new code of conduct (CoC) for teachers and school administrators across the country.
The code of conduct, which is mainly for teachers and school administrators, is to build a disciplined and professional teaching force.
According to the Director of Secondary Education at the MOE, Soudah A. Dolo, “This latest development is in line with the objectives of the education reform Act of 2011, which calls for, among other things, the promotion and sustainability of public confidence in the educational system.”
Mr. Dolo: “This code is intended to set standards of ethical conduct and professional behavior for teachers and school administrators, and guide job performance in a safe and child-friendly learning environment.”
“The CoC,” Mr. Dolo said, “serves as a guide by providing rules of acceptable behavior for all teachers, school administrators and staff irrespective of places of assignment.” The code also stipulates acceptable behavior in carrying out assigned professional duties and responsibilities in and out of the school and classroom.
It is to further ensure the improvement of quality services, and students’ performance. For this, the MOE solicits the support of all education and community leaders in the implementation of the CoC.
The exercise is being launched with the vision to ensure quality, relevant, accessible, and affordable education by all, and to establish appropriate legal and regulatory framework through the development of education systems, policies, guidelines, procedures and standards among other goals.
According to Mr. Dolo, Wednesday’s workshop was hosted to “promote good governance practices amongst actors and coordination of all education program activities within our borders by linking education programs to economic and development needs of our populations, and promoting public-private partnerships throughout the sector.”
“CoC,” he said, “will guide teachers and school administrators in the process of implementing their professional duties and responsibilities.”
“It clearly defines what is expected of a teacher or school administrator in the discharge of their respective professional responsibilities. It is designed to govern and regulate teacher-student relationships as well as highlighting the importance of teacher-community roles in the running of school.
On behalf of the non-governmental forum, a representative from Concern Worldwide, Anne Akinyi Wekesa, observed that previous studies conducted in the country indicated clearly the need to enhance safe and quality learning in all schools.
“Let us with urgency declare and commit to ‘zero tolerance to unprofessional behavior, such as discrimination, abuse, negligence and absenteeism from teachers and administrators,” Madam Wekesa declared.
She said: “The CoC focuses on the roles and responsibilities of teachers and administrators to ensure safe learning. In a broader sense it examines safety and protection of children; particularly those in school. This entire exercise is everyone’s business.”
Yesterday’s gathering brought together several educational stakeholders including representatives from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Liberia Teacher Training Program (LTTP), Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) as well as representatives from all government ministries and agencies.