Authorities at the University of Liberia (UL) have announced a move to prohibit first degree holders and undergraduate Teachers’ Assistants (TAs) from teaching at the University.
UL vice president for Fiscal Affairs, Dr. Momolu Getaweh, said the capacity of the lecturers or teachers in the school is a contributing factor to the poor quality of education at the nation’s highest institution of learning.
Appearing yesterday before the joint Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the Legislature in response to an audit report conducted by the General Auditing Commission (GAC), Dr. Getaweh admitted that the UL is not adhering to the recruitment policy stipulated in the university’s handbook.
In its report, GAC maintained that the UL administration has failed to institute policies to promote better learning conditions, and as such, “the school is engaged in the recruitment of inexperienced and unqualified instructors who lacked the requisite credentials to teach courses at the UL.”
According to Acting Auditor General, Winsley Nanka, there are 114 first degree holders teaching courses above freshman level at the country’s flagship institution.
“The lack of qualified staff has constrained the UL to hire unqualified instructors to teach courses. There were also instances where some appointments were made without the approval of the UL President and the Board of Trustees,” Nanka quoted the UL as saying.
In the GAC report, 84 out of 566 instructional staff appointments were made without the approval of the president and the Board of Trustees.
“Additionally, there is no strategy put in place by the Administration to encourage staff retention. As a result, 62 percent of the University’s instructional staff are hired on a part-time basis, and are also recruited on a non- competitive basis.
“Furthermore, the University has not put in place a mechanism to monitor and evaluate its instructional staff and also lacks an effective Management Information System for gathering and safe guarding records.
“Because of their impact on the quality of education at UL, I advise that their resolution be considered urgently,” GAC admonished.
The GAC then encouraged UL to emulate strategy plans of other universities across Africa and the world that encourage staff retention by putting in place contemporary human resource management practices that enable the authority to attract, develop, motivate and retain a high caliber of instructional staff.
In order to ensure that post retirement contract employees are maintained on payroll for two years, provisions for accommodation, health and educational facilities should also be made for instructional staff and their children as incentives, for their retention must be prioritized, advised GAC.
Dr. Getaweh acknowledged the discrepancies in the running of the institution, but called for collective support in addressing the growing problems.