Sen. Tokpa Wants Higher-Ed Ministry Separate from MOE

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Bong County Senator, Dr. Henrique Tokpa

Wants to also abolish “unnecessary by-elections”

Bong County Senator Dr. Henrique Tokpa has promised he will lobby with his colleagues and the Executive to create the Ministry of Higher and Technical Education with the sole responsibilities of managing and supervising higher and tertiary education in Liberia.

Sen. Tokpa, a seasoned Liberian academic and former president of Cuttington University, said the benefits for the creation of this institution will be huge because the traditional Ministry of Education will only supervise and manage early Childhood, Special Education, Teacher Training, primary and secondary education.

According to him, when created, the proposed Ministry of Higher and Technical Education will strive to separate the vocational and technical components of the Ministry of Youth and Sports from the Ministry of Education.

Presenting his legislative report to his constituents in Gbarnga, Bong County, Sen. Tokpa said there are plans to seek the full completion of the construction of the Bong County Technical College, and the re-launch of the dux scholarship for all high schools in Bong County, something he said he did successfully as President of Cuttington University for 13 years.

“We also intend to seek the completion of the E.J. Yancy High School in Totota, Salala District; Reading Room for Nyofarkolie High School, Zowienta, Kpaai District, among several others.”

He also named financial aid, the provision of local and international scholarships to various groupings, and students hailing from the county. “We have two persons at the University of Philippines who have graduated with Masters’ degrees waiting to return and start to contribute to the development programs of Bong County,” Senator Tokpa intimated.

According to him, about five hundred students are benefiting from his local scholarship program attending various universities, high schools, and other professional institutions. “We have also assisted so many of our youths with financial assistance to go to school across the County and other parts of Liberia” he disclosed.

In his report to the citizens, Senator Tokpa named the construction of clinics, town halls, hand pumps, bridges, among others in several towns and villages across the county, as projects identified by his office and implemented through the County and Social Development Funds by the County Administration in the 2018/2019 fiscal year.

Senator Tokpa also disclosed plans to introduce bills to abolish unnecessary by-elections in the country, to create the National Disaster Trust Fund, and the construction of a Maternity Waiting Home in Bong Mines, Fuamah District. He said his office has provided loans to several women groups, and made financial interventions towards projects undertaken by various groupings throughout the county.

According to Sen. Tokpa, the vices of division and conflict, coupled with the national economic hardship hinder development and unity in his county and the country as a whole. He cautioned citizens and residents to do away with those vices that have the propensity to undermine the forward march of the county and the country.

He asserted that people can have their differences, political alignments, but such political affiliation should not turn them into enemies, noting that elections will come and go, but they will remain as citizens.

He has however, assured Bong citizens that  he will continue to lobby with his fellow legislators, the Executive branch, as well as his kinsmen in and out of Liberia, to foster development in the county.

He lauded the citizens for their support and prayers for him since his election as Senator in 2018 and re-assured them of his unwavering commitment to the numerous promises made to them during the campaign period. “Our office welcomes any and all recommendations that would make our work easier and move our county forward; All of what we have achieved so far with our own resources would not have been possible without your love, prayers and supports.” Senator Tokpa concluded. Meanwhile, some of the citizens who made remarks during the program commended the Senator for reporting to them and urged him to continue his good work. They also cautioned him to always make use of the media to promote his programs and projects in the county. According to them, they cannot and will not be present at all of his activities, but they can be informed through the media, something the Senator acknowledged and promised to work on.

6 COMMENTS

  1. Thank You, Senator!
    Push this reform through. I am thrilled to read this article.
    You have my blessing, Senator.

    Kudos!

  2. There is already a Commission on Higher Education. You do not need another “ministry” as this will just be a waste of the meagre resources. All you need to do is empower the Commission to carry on the changes you are seeking(by amending the act that created the commission) and provide the resources they need for implementation. The problem with our country is not the lack of “ministries”. The problem is that these “ministries” either lack the manpower, are not provided with resources and/or are not held accountable for doing the work they have been asked to do.

    • You are so right Chris. We do not need another so call ministry of higher education.
      The already existing structures should be empowered with human and financial resources to carry out the mandates, as well held accountable for delivering their statutory responsibilities.

      Moreover, the legislature needs to play its role of oversight very well. They need to focus more on ensuring that already established structures carry out their mandates, and care less about seeking other interests why discharging their duties. Too many issues go unattended to for whatever reasons that may be known to members of the houses.

  3. Henrique Tokpah is just another politician although NOT AS Musa Bility, Benoni Urey, Nyonblee Karngar Lawrence, Darius Dillon, etc., BUT OF COURSE, AFTER HIS BANK ACCOUNT HAS ROCKETED FROM cents AS A MERE TEACHER to over 24k per annum in a country or county where his constituents are only good for voting him to power can hardly hustle a cup of rice, as he Tokpah is very certain of his 18,000 US for extra sitting fee and agricultural break.

    SO, OF COURSE, WHEN MEETING THEM HE HAS TO, AS HIS FELLOW POLITICIANS, GENERALLY DO…TALK THINGS THEY EITHER DO NOT KNOW OR DO NOT BELIEVE, AS IS THE CASE HER WHERE HE HAS CONDUCTED HIMSELF AS ONE WHO DOES NOT KNOW THAT…

    “The National Commission on Higher Education was established by an Act of the National Legislature in 1989 to formulate broad policy guidelines for the establishment of Institutions of Higher Education in Liberia, serve as the regulatory body for all Institutions offering degrees, and coordinate and serve as the principal liaison between Institutions of learning offering degrees in the country. Additionally, the Commission does the following: Facilitate the establishment of an autonomous National Accreditation Center responsible to accredit all Higher Institutions of Learning in Liberia. Approve new and existing programs of Higher Education for funding, after having satisfied itself of their needs for national development and assessing the Institution’s ability to implement the program; and Review existing programs at Institutions of Higher Education with the aim of establishing priority programs of study based on national needs.“

    A RASCAL POLITICIAN WILL TELL HIS CONSTITUENTS THAT HE WILL BUILD BRIDGES WHERE THERE ARE NOT EVEN CREEKS, ONLY TO MANIPULATE THEIR VOTES!

  4. Henrique Tokpah’s idea to create a second Ministry of Education exposes him as a weak politician. The gentleman’s educational idea is cynical at worst and dangerous at best. Because of his weakness, no one will be surprised if Tokpah demands all Public School students to learn how to speak and write the language of Kpelle.

    The Real Needs of The Public School Students:

    (1). Liberian Public School students do not have their full set of textbooks. But Tokpah and his legislative colleagues have government supplied automobiles.

    (2). The Liberian Public School students do not have enough desks to write on in order to do their assigned tasks. But Tokpah and his legislative colleagues have desks in their Chambers.

    (3). Liberian Public School students do not have good roads in the “back country” or the boondocks in order to get to their schools. (I know this because I grew up in an area in Maryland county where it wasn’t easy for some kids [not I] to get to school because of torrential rainfall. It didn’t happen every day, but the rain became a problem sometimes). On other hand, Tokpah and his legislative colleagues can drive to work whether it rains heavily or not.

    Mr. Tokpah should be ashamed of himself. Whereas Tokpah is expected to come up with brilliant educational ideas, the gentleman is hell-bent on introducing the whackiest of ideas. This kind of behavior hurts Liberia and its inhabitants.

    Hypothetically, if Tokpah’s second Ministry of Education idea is approved by his legislative colleagues, where on earth will the money to construct the Ministry come from? Will Tokpah agree to take a pay cut or will the money be borrowed?

    It is not immediately known which party Tokpah is affiliated with. But no one will be surprised if Tokpah is exposed as being an ardent follower of one of those three guys who want to ruin Liberia.

  5. Ignorance and vain criticisms from Liberians somehow schooled in the USA, who have little knowledge of the system in which they were schooled, may always retard Liberia if we, the people, don’t corner them from decision-making positions.

    What is the role of the Commission on Higher Education in the Liberia?
    Who do they report to – directly to the president or the Minister of National Education?
    How independent is the Commission?
    What is the scope of their works?
    Do we have harmonized national curricula of higher learning in Liberia? Etc?????

    To those who think the Commission on Higher Education should be funded, ask yourself this question: who is to fund it? The president or the government through the ministry of education?
    Can this Commission undertake any reforms without the orders of the minister of education?

    Look around other African countries making headways. They all have a ministry of higher education. Such ministry develops curricula in line with the developmental visions of the country.
    If Liberia should develop, it must start from the educational system. Our customized development, like Ghana or Cote d’Ivoire, can NEVER become a reality if a ministry of higher education is not created to oversee all vocational, technological and university education.

    Visit our so-called institutions of higher learning in Liberia. They all somehow have their own curricula. There is no national testing program in line with any systems in place. Everyone is left alone to do what s/he understands best, resulting into ill-prepared graduates loitering in the system, thinking they are trained or educated.

    I pray for some of you to oversee employments align with international standards, then you will get to understand that we are a shithole country with no systems in place.
    Companies employ and use excessive resources to train staff. In Cote d’Ivoire, a new graduate adds value to a company and augment its turnover in every capacity.

    For those of you who condemn passionately on partisan line and out of total ignorance, know that Senator Tokpa has made one of the best proposals for the future development of Liberia. If adopted and the ideal minister ushered in under a progressive president like Cummings, Liberia will begin something concrete and relevant in the higher educational system.
    You guys should know that a typical Liberian trained student does NOT compete with his peers outside the borders of Liberia.

    If critics have problems with the proliferation of ministries, then I will suggest we combine Youth and Sports with Gender, Children and Social Protection into a single ministry with special commission on human rights within such ministry.

    I am opened to debating this topic with any open-minded and dispassionately couth individuals.

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