Liberia’s Messy Education

The Editor,

Some of the products of our government schools don’t know anything and have not learnt their lessons and therefore cannot help our society! And they can’t spell either—even if you told them that the word “pupil” begins with a consonant and has 2 vowels in it, they will scratch their heads! Even with signs stating to keep the beaches clean, you still see them booting on our beaches.

But yet the President believes that you can improve our education system by emulating the failed top-down policies from the central planners at Ministry of Education and the so-called education experts! (Re “Liberia’s Messy Education…” From Mess to Best”)

Look. Most of these education experts you see with the President, at these meetings, wearing their exotic Liberian apparel, are just there to make big, big speeches and eat free government food. According to the Deputy Minister of Education, Dr. Khalipha Bility “Before good food waste, let belly burst!”

Since 2006, these same people and their ilk have failed to improve the educational outcome of our children, but yet you, Madame President, continue to take seriously the pretensions of these so-called “education experts” who put on airs of having professional expertise beyond the understanding of our illiterate parents!

But you know what? I will never forget those market women of West Point, with little or no schooling, who just wanted a good education for their children. That was their vision, and they didn’t need book people telling them that government schools were rotten and private schools were far superior! They had common sense!

To achieve their vision, they toiled under the hot sun—selling used clothing, pepper, bitter balls, etc. They used the profits to send their kids to private Catholic Schools because they knew that a superior education was the key to get you out of poverty!

So how about empowering poor parents to solve our education mess, Madame President? It’s their children who bear the brunt of your failed top-down government policies!

Yes, we all know that they can’t read and write, but as my father used to say, they got a “Mother’s Wit”.. They know good schools from bad schools.

A good start in the right direction would be to abolish our US$80 million Ministry of Education altogether, and use that money to help poor parents who want to take their kids out of poor performing government schools!

At the barest minimum, an “opportunity scholarship” or education voucher ought to be available to allow poor parents to opt out of our rotten government schools.

The time has come for poor parents to have a school their choice too!

Martin Scott
Atlanta, Georgia

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