Rep. Francis S. Younge discloses
For the first time since the establishment of River Gee County, at least 5 qualified teachers with Bachelor of Science (B.Sc) degrees in major disciplines, have been deployed to teach senior high school students in the county.
Even though there have been other qualified instructors who must have obtained degrees in other areas, there has been a lack of teachers in major subjects like Biology, Chemistry, Physics and English, among others. The school recently received these teachers following months of negotiation with authorities of the Ministry of Education (MoE).
Tweh Jaiklay High School in Fish town and the Gbeapo Central High School are the only two public high schools established by the Government in the county. Over the years these schools have experienced serious challenges in major subjects, Representative Francis S. Younge told this paper over the weekend at the headquarters of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) when he officially joined the party.
According to him, over the years there have been huge gaps in major subjects in these two public high schools due to the lack of qualified instructors in Biology, Chemistry, Physics and English, which has contributed to a low level of performance by students who recently sat for the WASSCE (West African Senior School Certificate Examination).
He said the negotiation process to get more teachers in the county first began with the late River Gee Senator Nathaniel J. Williams.
“But due to William’s death, the advocacy could not be realized at the time,” he said. As such, he thought it wise to intensify the negotiations upon his ascendancy as District 1 representative. “We cannot sit and see the schools in our county go down due to the lack of qualified teachers; we need to ensure that our young people learn,” he noted.
He also said before taking these teachers to the county, he had been able to work with the Ministry of Education (MoE) to ensure that the teachers’ names were included in the 2017/2018 budget year. “As we anticipate the passage of the budget, I am currently sharing my salary with these 5 teachers, to ensure that they get food on the table for their families,” he said.
He however did not specify how much of his salary he has been sharing with these teachers since they were deployed in the county. Younge further mentioned that since his ascendancy as a lawmaker of District 1, in ninety days he has been able to make powered saws available for the opening of feeder roads in Fish Town.
Meanwhile, he said in order for the Liberian government’s “pro-poor agenda” to be achieved, there is a need for every Liberian to work together, adding: “This is not a time to ask, where are you from and where are you going? It is about everyone.”
But Francis K. Choloplay, a son of River Gee County, appears uncertain about the ability of those recruited to teach. “I appreciate the honorable, but the question is whether those guys are able to do the work. Having a BSc is one thing and doing the required work is another.
My only advice to the leadership of River Gee County, most especially the legislative caucus, is that anytime they want to send teachers in the county to help in our high schools, they should recruit those with teaching knowledge or degrees, and not because somebody has a bachelor’s degree or is a friend to them,” Choloplay said.
Choloplay, who earlier welcomed the idea of recruiting qualified teachers for the county, also claimed that through the instrumentality of District 1 lawmaker similar things happened in Gbeapo Central High school.
“Our schools should not be used to achieve their political aims; I appreciate them but they should do the right thing,” he emphasized.