The Daily Observer yesterday received information that hundreds of public school teachers are laying down their chalks in further protest to demand the resignations of Education Minister George Werner and Monrovia Consolidated School System (MCSS) Superintendent Adolphus Jacobs.
The aggrieved teachers, who have declared Werner’s reform policy as ‘bogus’ and nonessential to the transformation of the education sector, and Jacobs’ credentials as nonexistent, vowed not to return to the classroom if Werner and Jacobs do not resign.
Speaking to this newspaper via mobile phone yesterday evening, the secretary general of the National Teachers Association of Liberia (NTAL) Samuel Johnson said the teachers’ decision remains irreversible until President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf can recall the two officials from their respective offices.
“We have served Werner and Jacobs two separate resolutions since February this year demanding them to quit their services due to their inabilities to improve the education sector, but they think it is a joke.
“This is why we have come to this point of abandoning the classrooms until they adhere to our call as the constitution places in us the power to allow them to serve or not, even if appointed by the President.
“We will visit all the counties and make sure this is achieved.
“Werner and Jacobs must go, no matter what,” Mr. Johnson vowed.
In response to Mr. Johnson’s claim that teachers have downed chalks, Deputy Communications Director at the Ministry of Education, J. Shannor Goe, said it is “false that teachers have laid down their calks, adding that Mr. Johnson is seeking undue public attention.
“Samuel Johnson, whose name was deleted from the payroll due to his inactiveness at job in Lofa is manipulating a few teachers to go against government’s reform policy, but he has no grounds to succeed,” Mr. Goe said in the phone interview.
According to him, news pertaining to teachers laying down chalks came only from River Cess County, but it was put under control as the County Education authorities and the student leadership met the teachers and talked to them not to take such an action.
On Wednesday, protesters demanding the immediate resignations of Minister Werner and MCSS Superintendent Jacobs stormed the Ministry of Education.
In his earlier reaction to the teachers’ demand, Werner vowed to stay on, adding, “It is not time for me to quit our government, not even to listen to the demand by surrogate groups such as the teachers, the blackmailers…”