Seven Civil Society Organizations, under the banner, “More4 Education Partners”, on Monday, September 14, 2020, marched to the Capitol, home of the National Legislature, and called on that august body to increase the education budget of Liberia to a minimum of 20% for the fiscal year 2020/2021.
The More4 Education Campaigners began marching from the front of the Capitol Building singing songs depicting inscriptions on the banners they carried in their hands.
Speaking to journalists after hanging the banners on the fence of the Capitol Building, Coalition for Transparency and Accountability in Education (COTAE) lead person, Atty. Gerald Yeakula, said the hanging of More4education banners was a reminder to Lawmakers to increase the education budget consistent with several international protocols on education to which Liberia has signed up.
The COTAE lead person recalled that nearly two years running, the More4education partners have engaged Lawmakers to increase the education envelope to which little increment was made, but Atty. Yeakula said the partners on education were shocked when the education budget faces a decrease in the current 2020/2021 draft national budget.
He used the occasion to caution Lawmakers to make good Liberia’s commitment in line with the Echeon Declaration of 2015 and the Dakar Framework of 2000 as well as the Global Partnership on education standard for sub Saharan Countries calling for a minimum 20% of national budget to be allocated towards education.
For his part, Inclusive Development Initiative ( IDI) Executive Director, Mr. Alonzo Dorian Dixon, said the move by education partners was necessary at this time when the National Legislature is deliberating the draft national budget. Mr. Dixon who represents the Disable and underprivileged Community at the level of the More4education campaign said there is a need to augment education budget.
“The School of the Blind and the Deaf and Dumb school as well as other underfunded areas in the education sector need budgetary allotment”, he said.
The More4 Education Campaigners said due to their advocacy, the Education budget was increased from 14.5% to 15.7% over a period of two years, but was shocked to find out that the draft national budget of 2020/2021 has decreased the Education budget to 14.6%.
The More4 Education Partners consist of Coalition for Transparency and Accountability in Education (COTAE), Umovement, Inclusive Development Initiative (IDI), YOCEL,HOPE, NAPTANOL and National Teachers and Parents Association of Liberia (NTPAL).
The education partners are implementing a USAID/ LAVI (Liberia Accountability Voice Initiative) program seeking better, quality and accessible education among others for the education sector in Liberia.