An official of the Movement for Economic Empowerment (MOVEE), Richard S. Panton, says his party stands ready to fix the messy education sector of Liberia if given state power in the 2017 presidential election.
Serving as a proxy for the party’s standard bearer, Dr. J. Mills Jones, at the graduation of LICOCESS Mobile Teacher Training College held at the Effort Baptist Church in Paynesville, Mr. Panton, who is the party’s Secretary General, said his party has the strategy to clean up the mess in the education sector.
“It is time for us to take credible action in order to bring forth the excellence yearned for,” Mr. Panton said. “Both students and teachers should by now be using state of the art facilities and logistics.” He said building new schools and bringing in new and sophisticated equipment in the absence of trained and qualified teachers cannot in anyway yield the desired results.
Addressing the 481 graduates of LICOCESS, he said their acquisitions of “C” Certificates and “AA” degrees are added advantages to them provided they are willing to put their country first in their service.
Speaking on the theme “It is time for credible action,” Mr. Panton called for support to transform the education agenda.
He said quality education can help solve complex problems at all levels and noted that Dr. Jones is prepared to translate all his promises into real actions because he is already impacting lives since he served as Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia.
The County Education Officer for Montserrado, Madam Cecelia T. Reeves, said teaching is not about material riches but the passion to help others graduate from ignorance.
“You must have love for this country’s children and educate them properly because taking over their own future requires good skills and innovations,” Madam Reeves noted.
She said teachers should remain teachers and be mindful of sexual harassment and illegal money collections in the classroom.
“Your students are looking up to you for good examples to better their lives and will therefore not want to be humiliated by you,” she said.
She commended the graduates and called on them to use their skills to help clean the mess and make Liberia comparable to any other nation in the world.
The president of the outgoing class, Ms. Lischen F. Shannon, said education, under President Sirleaf’s leadership, has undergone some improvements as compared to previous governments.
“Even though there are still challenges, we are grateful that salaries have increased to some extent and employees are paid on time since President Sirleaf came to power,” she said.
Ms. Shannon said learning institutions should train and give teachers their required salaries and called on the government and other education stakeholders to make sure that learners are healthy, well–nourished and are provided with learning materials.