It is no secret that the education sector is the foremost critical component of any nation when it comes to propelling positive change and ensuring a holistic sustainable economic growth and development. It is a fulcrum or catalyst for every sector of the society to function properly. As such any development drives must first commence with the development of human minds; this will help the population to be not only developers, but making sure that whatever development is carried out is maintained and sustained.
As a responsible and mature government, the UP-led administration is fully aware of the role education plays in ensuring and promoting a peaceful, stable, transformed and a developed nation, Liberia, considering Education as a priority area, thus igniting it into her national vision. However, the education sector continues to linger behind as it relates to actualizing its true dogma of providing quality education to all Liberians.
Accordingly, ever since President Sirleaf microscopically detected and publicly declared that Liberia has a messy education system, prompting intense mixed views among Liberians. Nonetheless, the reality is that there are some serious challenges confronting the sector and it behooves everyone to get involved for the deliverance of the sector. Nevertheless, the million dollar question is ‘how can we clean up whatever ‘mess’ that exists in the education sector’?
Intuitively speaking, many Liberians anticipate their Chief Executive to set the stage for a solid education system. Cognizant of this, the Liberian leader in her purview days ago conscientiously effected major changes at the Ministry of Education, bringing as captain one of her best lieutenants, Mr. George K. Werner to take charge of the entity as Minister. The primary objective of this brief article is to succinctly prevue the archives of this young and progressive Liberian and to proffer our thoughts on the journey ahead.
Purposefully, it is worth mentioning tersely the exemplary leadership of Mr. Werner at two entrusted capacities as chair of the Inter-ministerial Scholarship Committee (IMSC) and later as Director-General of the Civil Service Agency (CSA). Notably, at the IMSC he made scholarships transparent, merit-based, and gender-responsive. Before his chairmanship, scholarships were barely heard of needless to say grant scholarship opportunities to ordinary Liberians to go abroad and acquire quality tertiary education. Breaking this despicable style of exclusion and making it a thing of the past was absolutely an exceptional achievement.
Additionally, Mr. Werner as chair of IMSC was not simply concerned about giving birth to new scholastic babies but ensured that scholars’ plights were addressed. Retrospectively, until he came on the shore scholarship beneficiaries used to shriek for their allowances even-though they were regarded as a drop in a bucket; curbing this delay tactic and doubling students’ allowances are seen as hallmark achievements.
At the CSA, his ineffaceable foot prints are obvious as the Agency has resurrected based on the reform measures introduced under his leadership ranging from the removing of ghost names from the payroll that was causing the GoL millions to engendering a grading system for Civil Servants based on qualification and expertise. At the Education Ministry, Mr. Werner was actively involved in the well structuring of the teachers’ payroll, laying to rest the rigmaroles of teachers’ salaries and other challenges. The reform initiative, though is still in full swing, has begun yielding great dividends of having an effective and efficient workforce.
Analytically speaking, the Education Minister-Designate is not a new face at the Ministry of Education or when it comes to educational matters. Being involved with students at the scholarship level and teachers on the other hand as well as the introduction of reform process at MOE under his directorship, coupled with his passion and tenacity for the sector are sufficient rituals to scrupulously inform him about the inner workings of the Ministry. Therefore, without any iota of doubt, he is best suited for the job. Drawing from his ‘let’s get it done mentality or result oriented posture’, one can smartly guess that the education sector will rejuvenate under his charismatic leadership, hence, he should be provided an unhindered opportunity now to justify the confidence reposed in him by the Liberian people through their President.
From all indications, Mr. Werner is in a better position when confirmed to bring exquisite and relevant positive changes to our highly challenged education system. Our judgement is drawn from the fact that he possesses the requisite qualification, knowledge and expertise and his work archives depict numerous achievements in the past. With no show of naivety, nonetheless, the task of gloriously resurrecting the country’s education sector will definitely be challenging, but with his motivation, passion, fortitude, innovation and desire to change the situation for the better, this is absolutely possible with the incoming educational captain.
In conclusion, let me hail the Liberian leader for the nomination of Mr. Werner as his subsequent confirmation will mark a splendid beginning to clean-up the country’s ‘educational mess’. As demonstrated by the President it is ardently expected that the Senate will do the Honorable thing by confirming Mr. Werner as Education Minister without any form of delay to jump-start the process of reforming Liberia’s education sector. There is no better time than now! Liberia’s education sector, your deliverance time has come! With our hands on the plow of education sector reform concertedly and Mr. George K. Werner, the magnificent Reformer as our captain, it is certainly possible! Together, we can get it right this time! You are wholeheartedly welcome to MoE, Mr. Werner.
About the author: Charles Gbollie holds Master’s degree in Education (Hons) with specificity in Developmental & Educational Psychology from Central China Normal University, Wuhan City, China. He also holds BA degree in Sociology from AME University and has several certificates to his credit. He has over five years of work experience.
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