United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)-China Funds-in-Trust Project (CFIT) on “Harnessing Technology for Quality Teacher Training,” was yesterday launched in Monrovia.
The project is a US$700,000 grant from the government of the People’s Republic of China that intends to increase the institutional capacities of Liberia’s three teachers training institutions.
Liberia is one of eight other countries to benefit from the “Funds-in-Trust” Agreement between the UNESCO and the Chinese government. It has been established to support capacity-building for teachers education and development to achieve the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) in the area of education.
Yesterday’s ceremony, which brought together several education stakeholders, was launched by outgoing Education Minister Etmonia David Tarpeh, who described the project as a “dream come true.”
The UNESCO-China Funds-in-Trust Project, according to Minister Tarpeh, will eventually provide increased knowledge and skills, especially in Information and Communication Technology Pedagogy for the teacher training program at the University of Liberia (UL) and the teacher training institutions in Zorzor, Lofa Countty, Kakata, Margibi County and Webbo, Maryland County, respectively.
“This is a welcome development, because in this world of technology today, it is inconceivable for teachers in the classrooms to lack computer or ICT skills,” she observed.
Education in the world today, she said, is advanced by easy access to information and communication technology (ICT), and therefore, the launch of the project “must encourage teachers to a part of the needed change to produce quality education.”
Madam Tarpeh then encouraged in-service and pre-service teachers at the teacher training institutions and in general to take advantage of the opportunity to upgrade themselves by acquiring the necessary knowledge and skills that will make them and their students more useful and productive.
According to her, the project will support government’s efforts in the development of quality education which is important to the reconstruction and recovery of the system.
Earlier in an overview, a member of the project, Andrew jlay, said the launch of the project means Liberia will be achieving part of its MDGs by implementing its education agenda through the introduction of ICT in her education program.
“By this launch, Liberia will no longer be left behind in this age of digital technology,” Mr. Jlay declared.
It will also provide computer labs, projectors and internet facilities in each of the institutions; because it has a sustainable component in that it will train professors and instructors at the various teacher training institutions in the use of equipment and facilities in the delivery of classroom instructions.
Mr. Pang Hanzhao, Deputy Chief of Mission/Political Counselor at the Chinese Embassy in Monrovia, who proxied for Ambassador Zhang Yue, recounted numerous contributions his country has made to Liberia in her quest to improve the education sector.
The occasion was attended by UNESCO Senior Education Specialist at the Abuja Regional office in Nigeria, Dr. Saidou Jallow, the dean of William V.S. Tubman Teacher’s College at the UL and several other officials from the education sector.