Hundreds of teachers from the 15 counties have boycotted the Ministry of Education (MOE) newly introduced aptitude test to be administered to the teachers.
Some of the teachers have meanwhile described the test as “sham that lacks standard of classification.”
Some of the teachers under the leadership of the National Teachers Association of Liberia (NTAL) over the weekend refused to sit the aptitude test administered by the MOE at the selected venue around Monrovia. According to the teachers, who became aggrieved over the decision to write a test, the MOE did not consult their leaderships across the country as to the relevance of writing a test “that is nonessential to evaluate their services as teachers or their respective qualifications in a specific subject area,” they said.
Charles Moulton, who works at the Ellen Mills Scarborough Public School in Monrovia, spoke on behalf of the teachers.
He explained that he and his colleagues in consultation with the leadership of the NTAL have already engaged the national Legislature on the matter and hope to get redress ‘very soon.’
In response to the teachers’ claims and the negative reactions surrounding the administering of the test, the Assistant Minister for Teacher Education, Advertus Orea Wright, said claims and speculations by the teachers were “incorrect.”
“The intent of this test is not to remove teachers from the classrooms, adding that test is designed by the MOE to identify the weaknesses of teachers and help them to upgrade their teaching skills. If a teacher is discovered weak following the test, we will build his or her skill through refreshers and continuous development programs. We will use those that showed exemplary strength to help those who are weak in the profession,” Mr. Wright opined.
This most talked about aptitude test to was to be Saturday administered by the MOE to over 1000 teachers from Monrovia and its environs who were assembled at the William V. S. Tubman High School and the neighboring Joseph Jenkins Roberts United Methodist School in Sinkor.
For teachers under the NTAL Nimba County branch, they boycotted the test on grounds that the MOE was surreptitiously scamming on teachers the ministry did not employ, but rather wants to drop a number of them.
Larlesseh W. Berdeh, chairman on academic committee at the Sanniquellie Central High School, formerly served the NTAL Nimba Branch as vice president for operations.
“The test,” he said, “lacks standard because it is drawn indiscriminately, as opposed to being a well researched aptitude test [to examine] teachers of all categories, including high school graduates, first degree holders, teachers with Master degrees, etc.”
He wondered what will happen in the case a high school graduate or an unemployed teacher passed the test and a first degree or a teacher considered more qualified, failed.
Meanwhile, the saga continues as the ministry reaffirmed its commitment to administer the test.