An Act seeking to establish the Ministry of Higher and Technical Education within the Republic of Liberia has been submitted to the Liberian Senate.
The Act is seeking to amend the one establishing the New Education Reform Act of 2011, Chapter 4, Section 4.2(d,e) to detach therefrom and amend the Act establishing the National Commission on Higher Education of 1989.
The Bill was submitted last Thursday, July 8, 2021 by the chairman of the Senate committee on Autonomous Agencies and Commissions, Senator (Dr.) Henrique Flomo Tokpa of Bong County and co-sponsored by Montserrado County Senator Saah H. Joseph, urging their colleagues for the timely consideration of its passage into law.
Among other things, the Act seeks to elevate the Commission on Higher Education and establish the Ministry of Higher and Technical Education (MoHTE), and the amalgamation of the many divisions of vocation situated in the Ministries of State, Agriculture, Youth and Sports, and Education.
In his communication to the President Pro-Tempore and members of the Senate, Dr. Tokpa noted that the Ministry of Education has mainly been focusing on administering the affairs of Pre-Schools, as well as Primary and Secondary with little supervision on tertiary education.
Senator Tokpa asserted that the creation of the Ministry of Higher and Technical Education will address this concern and give Tertiary Education clear representation in Cabinet meetings, where decisions and policies are made.
According to Dr Tokpa, the Act covers the establishment, Regulation, management, supervision, monitoring, and evaluation of all post-Secondary degree-granting higher institutions of Learning within the Republic of Liberia without any prejudice.
He disclosed that it shall specifically be applied to all Universities, Colleges, Technical and Vocational Institutions, Maritime and Forestry Institutions, Teachers Training Institutions, except excluded by an Act of Legislation.
“The objectives of this Act are also to govern and regulate the Educational system and the delivery and management of the system.
It shall encompass the formulation of broad policy guidelines for the establishment of institutions of Higher Education in Liberia, and serve as the regulatory body for all post- Secondary institutions offering professional certificates, diplomas, and degrees.
When established, the Ministry of Higher and Technical Education will monitor, evaluate and accredit all institutions of higher learning, approve new and existing programs for funding, among others,” Senator Tokpa’s communication noted.
Meanwhile, Senator Tokpa, an educator who served as President of Cuttington University for thirteen years, has clarified that the creation of the new Ministry will not be of extra financial burden to the government of Liberia, since budgetary allotment to the Commission on Higher Education will be transferred to the Ministry of Higher and Technical Education. “Even the current facility being occupied by the commission will house the Ministry of Higher and Technical Education,” Dr. Tokpa pointed out.