MOE, MCSS Bosses Threatened with Drastic Action

13
571
Students at D. Tweh High School, New Kru Town, Monrovia, await President Weah in a deplorable hall at their school on Wednesday, January 13, 2021.

–As President Weah, expresses disappointment over poor management of schools

President George Weah has rebuked his Minister of Education and the head of the Monrovia Consolidated School System for the filthy and unsanitary conditions of public high schools across Montserrado County and further threatened to dismiss them when he sees it necessary.

The President, during a surprise tour to government-operated schools in Monrovia and its suburbs, was shocked in disbelief when he saw students attending classes in a poor sanitary and impoverished environment. Some areas he visited had filthy bathrooms, leaky roofs, and unconducive classrooms.

“I am very disappointed in school authorities. I am so shocked to see students learning in such a poor state without the authorities doing anything about it. The education authorities are wrong to allow students to attend class in such a poor condition. They are wrong and, these issues are something that they should have taken care of. I wonder we can think about our own children seeing these things,” President Weah said, expressing regret at the deplorable conditions.

According to President Weah, he is also disappointed in his education authorities for deceiving him by presenting impressive documents depicting that they are doing better jobs, contrary to the existing reality on the ground.

As a result, the President said punitive administrative actions are expected against individuals responsible for the poor and deplorable state of the country’s education system after further assessment and interactions.

President Weah expresses his displeasure with Education Minister Ansu Sonii (2nd from right) and other education officials over the deplorable learning environments in schools across Montserrado County.

 “Lots of materials come before us but sometimes we are deceived.” President Weah added:  “It’s good that I decided to come to see some myself. The education sector of Liberia is very important to me. I wanted to see things myself without anyone telling me again about the problem facing schools across the county and the country at large. Now I know there are problems with libraries, bathrooms and classroom conditions and roofs of buildings.”

Liberia is one of the developing countries in the world with a weak education system like some of the poorest countries. According to BBC’s 2018 research report, fewer than 40% of children complete primary education, and of adult women who complete elementary school, just one in four could read a sentence. “In Liberia’s education system, patronage and bribery by administrators, professors, and students are widely reported. Abuse of resources, teacher absenteeism, and sex for grades are common,” the BBC noted in its report.

Ministry of Education’s budget for the fiscal year 2020-2021 is US$77,939,293, but civil society organizations have been calling for an increase of 20 percent. Out of the US$77,939,283 budget for the Ministry of Education, US$3, 896,057 is for the Monrovia Consolidated School System for administration and management of schools under MCSS.   

After the visit, the Liberian leader said he noticed that public schools are in urgent need of chairs, books, clean bathrooms, and better classroom environment, and he has instructed the Minister of Finance and Development Planning, along with the Minister of Education, to quickly find solutions to the problem.

President Weah expressed that it was unfair for authorities of the Ministry of Education and the Monrovia Consolidated School System to keep public schools in such deplorable conditions.

 “I came to see not just how the students are doing, but how the environment is for learning, and honestly I am disappointed because the schools are very deplorable. Students should not sit and see such a thing happening now,” President Weah said.

Newport Junior High School

In further rebuke, the President said the government claims to have leaders including Minister of Education, principals and superintendents, and yet the schools are in deplorable conditions and they are doing nothing about it.

He said there is a need to invest more in the future generation of Liberia. “We need to do more for you people to ensure that students learn in a better atmosphere.”

 “2021 will be a year that I will visit schools and to make sure that the bathrooms are good, the classrooms are conducive for learning. We will ensure that the libraries of various schools are fully furnished for the students,” President Weah said.

According to him, the government will provide good books for schools that lack them and ensure that the libraries of various schools are functional.

During the tour on Wednesday, January 13, the Liberian leader visited the D. Twe High School with almost 800 students; William V. S. Tubman High School with over 950 students; Monrovia Elementary Demonstration School, 419 students; Newport Junior High School, and Boatswain Junior High School. Concerning the low enrollment of students, school administrators said registration was still in progress.

President Weah said going forward, everyone should be on their toes to make sure that things are in place or there will be consequences. He also called on students to be hopeful and stay in school.    

13 COMMENTS

  1. Your action is long overdue, Mr. President. Had you been making these kinds of pops visitations, you wouldn´t had been receiving mischaracterized reports. Fire ¨underachievers!¨

  2. Read the history of the creation of the MCSS, then you will know which President started making process in comparison to the narrative around nowadays that : “within three years, I have undertaken more development than any other President in Liberia”. Now you have seen the reality, so drop that recitation of Samuel Tweah and his cronies. You do not need to paid WAEC Fees, but concentrate on what are children are being taught and the environment in which they are learning and maintain those structures that were created for the operations of the MCSS. More later.

  3. Thanks Mr. President. This is one of the major sectors that is not performing despite your commitment to education. You need to do more visits to all Ministers and agencies to see for yourself. Thanks Mr. President!

  4. Hypocrite!

    So, you think we will believe this futility? You pretend to know nothing about the state of public schools in Monrovia, as former senator of Montserrado? N’importe quoi!

    We, Liberians, have been very stupid in the past but thank God we are now seeing real revival in the thoughts and deeds of our compatriots. Soon and very soon, this hypocrisy will be over forever and ever, Amen!

  5. This is overdue, but a noteworthy undertaking. Mr. President seems to have a positive mindset for the youth of Liberia. However, his deputies may be milking tha system.
    At MCSS schools, principals were allowed to keep a portion of their fees collection for minor repairs and other eventualities. I am told that currently, everything is centralized. All funds go to the 11th Street Central Office, but little is returned to the schools. Under such circumstances, one can hardly blame the school principals! But, as a Principal, I would not sit and see my school go completely bad! See the roof of the auditorium at the D. The High School! Appaling! That auditorium hosted wedding ceremonies and other events that generated some funds. Why would the school authorities sit and let it deteriorate to such a state?
    Additionally, do the MCSS authorities not make regular or periodically visits to the schools? Couldn’t they see the ferment? This is highly irresponsible! On the other hand, the government may have been focusing only on employee’s salaries, but a forceful school leader would keep highlighting the needs at his school. To sit and resign oneself to doing nothing about the decay, has repercussions. Now they will be labeled as “do nothings”! Like they say, “cowards die many times before their death.” Focusing only on the perks of a position, but not performing the responsibilities thereof, tends to dampen one’s tenure. Let’s look out of the box to perform with some semblance of achievements for whatever length of time we spend in a post. I served as Principal at the D. Twe High School, 2005 – 2008. The challenges were there, but I succeeded in the following:

    -painting the building twice
    -constructing a fence around the campus
    – commencing the construction of a basketball court
    – topping MCSS schools in WAEC for all the years I was there
    -keeping teachers and staff motivated
    All this happened because I believe in myself first. Secondly, it is my alma mater. But later, I was transferred to the G. W. Gibson High school where I made them to top D. TWE High School in WAEC, won 2nd place in the annual Flag Day competition, and started to tile the auditorium at that school among other engagements.
    The message is, leaders should have vision for the posts they occupy.

  6. Just imagine public schools in the interior of Liberia when public schools in Monrovia are in such deplorable state. Who is responsible, Public schools principals or the ministry of education?

  7. In direct response to your inquiry, I would say that the Ministry of Education is at fault. Public school students do not have their full set of textbooks. It shouldn’t be like that. No, it shouldn’t be like that at all.

    Let me be clear. The idea of not having enough textbooks and desks for public school students is something that’s been around for almost two centuries in Liberia. If I have the opportunity to meet Weah, I will urge him to look into that! I know if he is informed, he will do something about it. It’s a neglect. The Ministry of Education is at fault!

    What galls me most is the fact that elected lawmakers have got their needs met. For instance, the lawmakers drive to work with some of the most expensive cars, they’ve got air-conditioned offices, good desks, very good healthcare plans, assigned drivers, fat paychecks and a few more perks. But our youth do not have what it takes in order for them to be sufficiently trained in their respective classrooms. Furthermore, why should a Senator be allowed to sign a concession? Why should a Senator or Representative be allowed to build a school in his or her county? This mess started before Weah became president. Some people want to push it under Weah. It ain’t so! The construction of a school building is a function of the Ministry of Education, pure and simple!

    Ellen Johnson Sirleaf tried her best. The Robert’s Airport is pretty good. The Ministerial Complex is pretty good, and I suppose a few more things she did were okay. But, a whole lot could have been accomplished during her presidency in the area of Education. I think that the Ministry of Education was left behind.

  8. When an individual walks in a work environment and begins to feel the tension both emotionally and psychologically from the deplorable condition of such environment, which direction does he turn first to trace the problems? He turns to the manager because he sets the pace for what is occurring within that environment.

    The disgrace which Weah saw at the Monrovia Consolidated Schools System (MCSS) plus the other schools in parts adjacent was an exact reflection of his (Weah’s) personal philosophy and his general outlook on life. The blame commences with him first and not the poor administrators, principals, and teachers. He controls the nation’s treasury. This dysfunction within the national school systems reveals to the Liberian people a microcosm of the greater national paralyses that have become the attributing causes of Liberia staying behind in all spheres of her national and international international endeavors.

    What is unfolding here is just a small fallout from a national pathology that has become ingrained on the minds of many Liberians who are placed in positions of trust, but are faltering to perform the duties entailed by these positions because of the perception the president and many of those in his inner circles have failed the nation; moreover, they have done so and continue to do so with “impunity”. Thus goes the saying, “When the beard gets burnt, do not ask for the head.”

    Let us be real and stop playing short memories. Weah made known his core beliefs about education during his pre-election speeches. He told the Liberian people in a video that went viral, “Education cannot build Liberia…” So there we have it. As soon as he was elected, Liberians began to witness the president’s words in deeds as he began to divert the nation’s funds into his own private undertakings thus fulfilling his promise that education was the farthest thing on his mind when it came to discussions on national priorities.

    Another glaring pronouncement of the president during his early days of his presidency was: He does not need a strategy to run the country because he understands the Liberians more than all other leaders, who came before him. There we have it again – a president who has attempted to lead his country without a strategy and therefore without a plan and a proper organization.

    In Weah’s mind, he thinks he is only a president for the CDC and the little enclave of Monrovia, and thus ignoring the fact he was elected as the president of a country, which comprises 15 political subdivisions, and therefore he needs to wake-up and broaden his focus as the challenges before him are humongous; he should stop taking them lightly and likewise stop taking the citizenry for granted.

  9. When an individual walks in a work environment and begins to feel the tension both emotionally and psychologically from the deplorable condition of such environment, which direction does he turn first to trace the problems? He turns to the manager because he sets the pace for what is occurring within that environment.

    The disgrace which Weah saw at the Monrovia Consolidated Schools System (MCSS) plus the other schools in parts adjacent was an exact reflection of his (Weah’s) personal philosophy and his general outlook on life. The blame commences with him first and not the poor administrators, principals, and teachers. He controls the nation’s treasury. This dysfunction within the national school systems reveals to the Liberian people a microcosm of the greater national paralyses that have become the attributing causes of Liberia staying behind in all spheres of her national and international endeavors.

    What is unfolding here is just a small fallout from a national pathology that has become ingrained on the minds of many Liberians who are placed in other positions of trust, but are faltering to perform the duties entailed by these positions because of the perception the president and many of those in his inner circles have failed the nation; moreover, they have done so and continue to do so with “impunity”. Thus goes the saying, “When the beard gets burnt, do not ask for the head.”

    Let us be real and stop playing short memories. Weah made known his core beliefs about education during his pre-election speeches. He told the Liberian people in a video that went viral, “Education cannot build Liberia…” So there we have it. As soon as he was elected, Liberians began to witness the president’s words in deeds as he began to divert the nation’s funds into his own private undertakings thus fulfilling his promise that education was the farthest thing on his mind when it came to discussions on national priorities.

    Another glaring pronouncement of the president during his early days of his presidency was: He does not need a strategy to run the country because he understands the Liberians more than all other leaders, who came before him. There we have it again – a president who has attempted to lead his country without a strategy and therefore without a plan and a proper organization.

    In Weah’s mind, he thinks he is only a president for the CDC and the little enclave of Monrovia, and thus ignoring the fact he was elected as the president of a country, which comprises 15 political subdivisions, and therefore he needs to wake-up and broaden his focus as the challenges before him are humongous and he should stop taking them lightly; likewise stop taking the citizenry for granted.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here