LIBERIA: The Education System Needs Transformation

first_imgLiberia’s education system is severely imbalance in the provision and delivery of services, facility management, staff supervision and bureaucratic control. The system has failed to generate comprehensive organizational and structural changes over the past ten years.Neglect, mismanagement and unprofessional conduct have destroyed the day-to-day function of the system by depriving many schoolchildren of a positive learning environment and critical academic growth after almost two decades of social dislocation and brutal civil war.Recently, there have been changes in the administration of the system intended to bring about reorganization. It is believed that this restructuring would bring about desperately needed transformation to a system that has been out of touch with 21st century academic values.Liberians are looking forward to this overhaul with great anticipation and expectations that the Ministry of Education (MOE) will function much better than it did over the past years. However, can Liberian schoolchildren be optimistic that this reorganization will make the leadership of the MOE more accountable to their learning, achievement and performance? Can parents be hopeful that this reorganization would indeed deal with a system-wide revamp that is devoted to analyzing and boosting the MOE’s management structure, including curriculum, instruction and organizational areas where the bureaucracy has been chronically inefficient? Can Liberians look forward to the MOE promoting creativity, innovation, curiosity and individualism in our education system?Over the past 10 years, the system has been in a state of mediocrity, remaining in freefall during this most critical period in our country’s history. The system failed simply because those who led and managed it lacked vision, direction, guidance and the political will to truly transform it.The MOE mercilessly trapped over a million schoolchildren in poverty, condemning many to the distinction of inequalities across all lines of class, gender, region and ethnicity. On the one hand, the system’s failure allowed students to pass from one grade to the next without certified academic confidence in basic skills; while leaving countless others disgustingly unprepared to function competently in the society.On the other hand, the system allowed useless and unethical teachers and administrators to make a mockery out of a noble and respectable profession without consequence or accountability. This colossal failure of our education system has had a horrible effect on schoolchildren, parents and communities across the country, radically affecting the general population with devastating consequences in our collective mindset, social attitude and communal behavior.The system failed our country immeasurably, and if we are not careful, it could rip off yet another generation of innocent Liberians by denying them a productive and promising future.This gigantic failure of the system should be a wake-up call to Liberians everywhere, especially those in leadership. We can quibble about the collapse of the system and blame past administrators, or we can stand up with the resolve and determination to fix it, and face the brutal truth that our country has been out-educated by every country in the sub-region and countless others around the world.The failure isn’t about the schoolchildren, because they are as smart as students anywhere on the planet. The hard truth is that other countries’ education systems have surged ahead, while ours has not modernized, nor kept up with changes which could transform the lives of our children. The danger of doing nothing is that a substantial portion of our youth, 45% of whom make up our population, will be left in ever deepening poverty, continually requiring massive assistance to be lifted out of a state of melancholy; and possibly leaving an entire generation abandoned without hope for a better life.Liberia needs to completely end its dependency and beggar mind-set towards education that permits us to rely totally on others for direction, standards, curriculum, and guidance in our education outlook. Our education system can only be transformed if we re-define opportunities, present innovations and provide orientations which embraces creativity, individuality, professionalism and resourcefulness.A paradigm shift would give recognition to developing the potential and capacity of teacher, student and school as the primary means in meeting 21st century socio-economic demands. To accomplish this goal, however, every aspect of our national life would have to be tapped, not simply by the scale of provision and access to service, but by the very nature of how educational services are conceptualized, resourced and delivered.This new narrative and paradigm shift in the system should be about integrity, standards, assessment, curriculum, discipline, resource management, performance, responsibility and respectability. It should be about building marketable skill sets and social benchmarks among schoolchildren as the means of achieving national goals.Such a narrative would indeed be resolute in maintaining education as the only ticket needed to reduce poverty, illiteracy, socioeconomic insufficiency and our chronic collective disease burden.To fundamentally restructure the system, we will have to prioritize education as a national requirement and not continue to give it the usual lip service treatment to fill speeches, excite constituents and accommodate international audiences. But to transform it in this manner would require a shift in our attitude and outlook in terms of policy and the way both educators and policymakers relate to one another in comparison to content, curriculum, skills training and instruction.Liberian education can truly become revolutionary if Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) is present in schools. Making ICT an integral part of our national education strategy would indeed modernize learning and lead to total transformation of our educational landscape. If ICT is integrated properly in our school system, it could definitely contribute to building new relationships between schools, communities and the larger society by bridging the gap between formal, non-formal and informal education.There is a strategic need in Liberia to seriously consider developing a teacher residency program. Such a program would be intended to give new teachers valuable hands-on training from seasoned professionals as mentor teacher, while taking courses to earn a master’s degree in education. A program of this kind would indeed be an excellent way Liberia can begin an aggressive transformation, offering beginner teachers an opportunity to work under the guidance of an experienced teacher/adviser, counselor or guru in specific professions to gain practical knowledge. It would also force institutions of higher learning to provide advance courses in education and related areas to enhance the academic growth of a progressive and knowledgeable segment of our population.We need to come to terms with the way educational resources are distributed and utilized. Such as, how and where staffs are assigned, compensated, accommodated and where school buildings are constructed, in order to achieve clear-cut social and economic goals which impacts populations, diversity, development and modernization.It cannot be emphasized enough that the system is badly in need of capacity strengthening through professional and leadership development; including, curriculum and instructional resources, reinforced through interventionist accountability schemes, which can only be addressed through open measurements of accomplishment. This requires some common sense measures including leadership, discipline, curriculum and basic reading and language skill sets. A determined effort to train, recruit and retain high quality administrators and teachers will make the biggest difference in reforming and restructuring the system.The teaching profession must be made to appeal to the best and brightest among us. Having schoolchildren exposed to truly skilled teachers and administrators is an investment that is sure to pay off in the long-run, because it would demand that our system provides solid curriculum, assessment, expectation, performance, accountability and output nationwide.These practical and realistic approaches to transforming our education system would ensure greater social dividends, quantifiable and measurable returns in terms of learning, achievement, capacity, health, nutrition, water, sanitation, hygiene and well-being. Transforming our education system will deal with closing the gap between rural, urban and peri-urban schools, so that the entire system is brought into the 21st century with better innovation, curriculum, evaluation, achievement and performance.Note: Francis W. Nyepon: Author, Policy Analyst, Environmentalist and Entrepreneur:fnyepon@aol.comShare this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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PRRD looking to create new building bylaw with public consulation

first_imgAfter being repealed earlier this month, the bylaw was reinstated Monday morning at a special meeting, but only applies to building permits issued before November 14, 2013, and for those who make a request to obtain a permit in the future.“This covers the middle ground that I think we’re looking for,” says Alternate Director Byron Stewart in for Director Lori Ackerman. “If people want or do not want to move within this system, they’re free to do so.” In order to bring the bylaw back, the PRRD board had to revote on repealing it, which was opposed but with three rural directors in favour: Area C’s Arthur Hadland, Area E’s Jerrilyn Schembri, and Area D’s Leonard Hiebert, the alternate for Wayne Hiebert, who resigned in October. – Advertisement -Participating in the meeting via telephone, Hadland made it clear that he felt the meeting was out of order, and therefore illegal, as five business days notice were not given, and he felt the issue was not an emergency, which was met with applause by the packed gallery. Much of the discussion during the nearly 90 minute meeting revolved around whether or not rural residents’ ability to obtain financing for construction projects is affected by not having a building inspection process. Advertisement Director Gwen Johansson also raised the issue of there being no end date to the bylaw, given that many residents feel there are many deficiencies. “There are a number of people who may be interested in having a building permit based on that old bylaw in the rural areas where it’s voluntary, but they’re not willing to have it based on the present bylaw,” she maintains. A referendum on the matter is still scheduled for next year’s local government elections. With consultation, it could take six to nine months to come back with a new bylaw based on the boundaries and content of the old Building Bylaw 1189, 1998.Area B Director Karen Goodings and Director Merlin Nichols voted against having a new building bylaw brought forward. “I called the local credit union and they just shrugged. This meant nothing to them,” says Hadland. “I called Farm Credit, which does a lot of the financing in the rural area, and they actually have no interest in our building bylaw at all.” “I fear there’s a huge risk to our region by companies who hear about this and all of a sudden say, ‘We’re not only not going to insure that building that hasn’t been inspected; we’re not going to write any coverage in that area at all,’” later responded Director Dale Bumstead, who served as the Chair of the Lakeview Credit Union board for 10 years. Both Hadland and Director Bruce Christensen wanted to get something in writing from the financial institutions that reportedly rely on inspections from the Regional District, before making a decision on the building bylaw. Chief Administrative Officer Fred Banham attempted to answer some of the other questions that directors had fielded, including that … can not be grandfathered in, and that the existing permits could not be completed anyways, as there was no longer a bylaw to authorize the PRRD’s two inspection officers. Advertisementlast_img read more

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UPDATED: Two Vanderhoof men missing from Powder King Mountain Resort

first_img“They were supposed to check in at 6:00 p.m. last night and be home back in Vanderhoof last night, and they haven’t been seen or heard from since,” explains Wall.Details are limited and we are still waiting for more information from the RCMP, but Wall has provided a description of the missing for the time being.Riopel and Stringer are described as approximately 5’10 in height and weigh approximately 180 pounds.- Advertisement -At last report, police located the men’s vehicle in the Chetwynd area and plan to conduct a helicopter search.The RCMP has also initiated their Provincial Emergency Program, according to Cpl. Dave Tyreman.More details – including a photo of the missing – will be provided once made available by the RCMP.Advertisementlast_img read more

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Transport truck loses load in Dawson Creek traffic circle

first_imgDAWSON CREEK, B.C. – A transport truck travelling eastbound in the Dawson Creek traffic circle lost its load this morning.At approx 8:45 am on Wednesday, October 23rd, B&C Trucking Inc lost its load of tubing while travelling eastbound through the traffic circle.- Advertisement -RCMP and equipment are on the scene to pick up the unsecured load.last_img

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Stop retirement talk, Rummenigge tells Coman

first_img0Shares0000Kingsley Coman (R) on his return to action for Bayern Munich on December 1 following the Frenchman’s latest injury setback. © AFP/File / Patrik STOLLARZBERLIN, Germany, Dec 11 – Bayern Munich chief Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has told Kingsley Coman to stop all talk of retiring from “aggressive” modern-day football and focus on returning to the fray with his morale intact.Injury-plagued Coman, who has started only three Champions League games for Bayern since joining the club in 2016, said in a recent television interview that back-to-back injuries had left him pondering his future in the game. Rummenigge, speaking before Bayern’s trip to Amsterdam where they will face Ajax in the Champions League on Wednesday, said it was unthinkable for the 22-year-old Frenchman to be considering quitting.“I would advise him not to get carried away and to stop thinking about ending his career,” said Rummenigge.“In today’s football, which is very quick and sometimes very aggressive, you just can’t avoid suffering injury now and again.“The important thing is to return to competition with your morale intact.”Coman, who came through Paris Saint-Germain’s training academy before joining Juventus in 2014, told Sunday’s Telefoot programme he would consider his future in football if he suffered another major injury.In the past year he has suffered two ankle ligament injuries, in February then August.The first meant he missed possible selection to France’s squad for a World Cup campaign in which Les Bleus triumphed.Coman only returned from his latest injury on December 1, joining Bayern’s squad for Wednesday’s clash in Amsterdam where the Germans need just a point to secure top spot in Group E.Rummenigge, the CEO of Bayern, added: “Everyone is behind him.“We know how good a player he is, he’s an important player and will be even more so in the future.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

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Ad for Hanukkah ham fails taste test

first_imgNEW YORK – This was REALLY not kosher. A grocery store in Manhattan made a food faux pas, advertising hams as “Delicious for Chanukah.” Chanukah – an alternate spelling for Hanukkah – is the eight-day Jewish holiday that began Tuesday evening, and hams – as well as pork and other products from pigs – can’t be eaten under Jewish dietary laws. A woman who saw the mistake over the weekend at the Balducci’s store on 14th Street took pictures of the signs and posted them on her blog. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhicker: Clemson demonstrates that it’s tough to knock out the champJennifer Barton, director of marketing, told The Associated Press on Thursday that the signs were changed as soon as the error was noted. She issued an apology on the company Web site, saying it would review its employee training.last_img read more

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Meet new people, and try new things at the wonderful Cara House

first_imgCara House is encouraging new members to avail of some of their fantastic new courses that get underway next week. Cara House, is a non-profit organisation to provides individuals and families with social, recreational and educational activities.The brilliant centre has been a catalyst for improving the lives of people all across Donegal. Its programmes for elderly people has been a hugely positive project – which was designed to integrate those isolated from society back into a social setting.Its mantra to new members is quite simple, live life to the full, meet new people, try new things and enjoy yourself!Manager of Cara House, Susan McCauley told Donegal Daily, “We’ve got a range of adult courses starting in Cara House Family Resource Centre, which start next week 12th September.“Our daytime courses include Cake Decorating, Gardening, Decoupage, Irish for Parents, Spanish, Computers, Art and many others. “We’ve also got Dance, you can try Yoga, or you can join the Strollers’ Group.“Mothers and Babies can try Baby Yoga or Baby Massage – both offered for FREE for five weeks.“Join us next week, our mantra is live life to the full, meet new people, try new things, and enjoy yourself!Contact Cara House on 9123986 or 0876994524 or info@carahouse.ieMeet new people, and try new things at the wonderful Cara House was last modified: September 7th, 2016 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:CARA HOUSEFeaturesnewsRecreationalSociallast_img read more

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MAN WAS CAUGHT SPEEDING AT 135KPH

first_imgA man caught driving at 135 kph in a 100kph speed zone has been fined €300.Daniel McConnell, of Don Glebe, Glenswilly was stopped by Gardai operating a speed check at Sharon Glebe, Manorcunningham.Gardai told Letterkenny District Court said they stopped the grey Lexus car being driven by McConnell. A fixed penalty notice had ben sent out but had not been paid.Judge Paul Kelly fined McConnell €300 and gave hi two months to pay.MAN WAS CAUGHT SPEEDING AT 135KPH was last modified: November 24th, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:courtDaniel McConnelldonegalGardaiglenswillyspeedinglast_img read more

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FOUR MASTERS COUNTY STARS BRINGING IT ALL BACK HOME!

first_imgYoung footballers in the Four Masters GAA Club, Donegal Town were given a great boost recently when four County players came along to give them a training session.The four football stars came out to take the session as part of the Senior Men’s fundraiser. The top prize was a coaching session with Donegal players Karl Lacey, Paul Durcan, Luke Keaney and Barry Dunnion for an underage team.Local woman, Marie Gorrell was the lucky winner and she donated the session to the Under 14 girls team, which her niece Neasa Gorrell plays for. The U12 and U13 boys football teams were also given this unique opportunity. The session consisted of the boys and girls being split into four groups with each group working with a player before rotating. The lads worked on different skills; Luke Keaney worked on shooting, Barry Dunnion on tackling, Paul Durcan on catching, and Karl Lacey on soloing.The session was finished with two games for the boys and girls separately.Rory O’Donnell, Senior Management team, who spearheaded the fundraising initiative, commented, “a sincere thanks must be given to the lads for taking time out to lead the excellent session. I’m sure all the young players will remember this session for many years and it will hopefully inspire them to remain focused and perhaps in the not to distant future some of them may be County footballers”.  FOUR MASTERS COUNTY STARS BRINGING IT ALL BACK HOME! was last modified: September 13th, 2013 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:County PlayersDonegal Townfour mastersGAAlast_img read more

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