A two-week “Train the Teacher” seminar initiated by The Paynesville City Corporation (PCC) has ended, with participants now feeling more prepared and energized as the 2018-2019 academic school year approaches.
The seminar, which had over 60 beneficiaries from several parts of the country, was held from Monday to Friday, July 23 thru August 3 and was intended to strengthen the teachers’ skills in their careers.
During the course of the seminar, the beneficiaries were trained in the preparation of lesson plans, classroom management, as well as techniques in effective handling of students.
Sponsored by the PCC, the seminar was facilitated by a retired Liberian teacher residing in the United States of America, Ms. Elaine Saba, who holds a lifetime license from the State of Texas to teach primary and secondary education. She also trains students in Creative Writing, English as a Second Language (ESL), and the Gifted and Talented (GT) programs.
At the closing ceremony where the teachers were awarded the certificate of achievement, Ms. Saba said the lives of the next generation of Liberian leaders are in the hands of teachers. “You hold the lives of the children in the palms of your hands. It is your responsibility to ensure that they have the requisite education,” Saba said.
She urged the teachers to meaningfully contribute their quotas to improving the country’s education sector. “I consider you all now as experts in lesson plans development and all of the other components of training. I want to admonish you to do your best to help our kids. They deserve the best from all of us,” the eloquent Ms. Saba noted.
She had earlier expressed optimism that despite the huge challenges facing the Liberian education sector, it is fixable when the appropriate investments are made with the right people in charge.
Saba lauded the Paynesville City Mayor E. Pam Belcher-Taylor for providing her the platform to share her knowledge with her compatriots who are in so much need of empowerment.
With this initiative, the new municipal government at the Paynesville City Corporation is going beyond what the public perceives as its only function — keeping the city clean — and is bringing dynamism into its operations, taking on the educational sector, where the corporation proves to be a valuable resource to thousands of students in the city.
“We are trying to bring dynamism to local governance and one of the best way we feel we can make the most impact is trough education. This is why we are doing all we can to attract the best partners to help us in our endeavors,” PCC Mayor Belcher-Taylor said.
She reiterated that the seminar was an Independence gift to the teachers and students of Paynesville and the entire country. “My quest for education is irresistible; that is why I am bringing new dynamism to local government,” the mayor said.
Though many Liberians seem to have confined the role of municipal authorities to sanitation duties, the PCC Mayor sees far beyond that. “We can do more to help our people. We are not only here to collect garbage,” she said.
She admonished the participants to go out there and put to practice what they have learned in order to impact the younger generation. “Your certificates are well deserved. You can now go forth and teach our children the proper way.”
She said organizing the seminar was a dream-come-true because she was always thinking of how to meaningfully impact the lives of residents of the city, especially the kids. “We will do more of this. We need more Elaine Saba to come here and help our people,” the mayor said.
Though many of the teachers came from schools within Paynesville, some were drawn from Margibi, Bong, Nimba and Grand Bassa Counties.
She indicated that the motto of Paynesville, “Transforming Our City,” can be realized only if when the minds of the residents are positively transformed through quality education.
Montserrado County District #6 Representative, Reverend Samuel Enders, also graced the ceremony. He lauded the Mayor and Ms. Saba for initiating such an awesome program. “Our system is in shambles and we all must help to improve. Our kids are being left behind academically and intellectually and we just can’t afford this,” he said.
Rep. Enders urged the teachers to use the acquired skills to the benefits of the students.
According to Mayor Taylor, the perfect Independence gift for any Liberian, especially the teachers of Liberia, is knowledge; adding that it will enable them to have a lifetime of independence.
Meanwhile, Madam Saba is a retired educator. She holds a license from the State of Texas to teach primary and secondary education. She instructs students in Creative Writing, English as a Second Language, and the Gifted and Talented programs.
She taught in the state of Texas for over 27 years and, in her retirement, is currently training teachers, while at the same time having a small after-school business where she prepares school kids to be successful in state exams.