By Tina S. Mehnpaine
The Inclusive Development Initiative (IDI) with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has called on the government to implement the Education Act of 2011 in order to improve the sector.
The one-day sensitization meeting held in Monrovia recently focused on findings and recommendations of an assessment on the 60% signature fees of chapter 9.1 of the Education Reform Act of 2011.
Chapter 9.1 of the 2011 Education act states that “Every concession agreement made by the Government, 60% should be allocated to Education.”
Inclusive Development Initiative (IDI) is a non-for–profit Human Rights-based Advocacy Organization that was established in 2012 with the aim to support, promote, and advocate for the rights and inherent dignity of persons with disabilities and underprivileged persons in Liberia.
IDI work is divided into five thematic areas: To train and advocate for the rights to equal and Quality Education, Rights to Good Health Care Services, Access to Justice, Advocacy for Accessibility and Entrepreneurship programs for persons with Disabilities and underprivileged persons in Liberia.
Alonzo Dorian Dixon II, IDI Executive Direction, said people with disabilities lack quality education across the country because of the lack of implementation of the Act that was signed into law by former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on August 8, 2011.
Dixon said former President Sirleaf emphasized that the Education Reform Act is one of several reform measures being put in place by the Government towards decentralization. He recalled the difficulties the nation experienced in the educational sector in the early years of that administration over poor performance in the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) Exams, the shortage of qualified teachers, and poor compensation and logistics for teachers.
Dixon said, “inasmuch as people living with disabilities are not educated, they will always be excluded from decisions making processes and their numbers will increase on a daily basis.” He also added, “If Liberia must achieve the sustainable Development Goal (SDG) by 2030, persons living with disabilities must actively and equally be involved in every sector of the country.
Dixon II calls on GoL and International Partners to come to the aid of people living with disabilities, provide them scholarships to enable them to fully participate in every sector.
Eugene Gray, Education Specialist USAID-LAVI said, as a result of their advocacy, they have been able to achieve a 0.8 percent increase in the national education sectors.
Ministry of Education Director, Special and Inclusive Education Division, Mrs. Theresa W. Garwo, commended the IDI for the great initiative and reassured that they are willing to work actively with people with disabilities.