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In Defense of Education: Yes, Da Book We Will Eat

This election seem to have unearthed questions and some unsettling doubts. Liberia has now become fertile ground for debate and conflicting views on the value of education. Are we so far behind as a country that the most important foundation upon which to build our country has now fallen under attack? Are we so confused as a people that we now shun what we once held priceless? We now live in a knowledge-based century where increasingly the development of a country is linked to knowledge and information and the skills…

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News 

Outsourcing schools to a startup backed by Mark Zuckerberg

The West African nation of Liberia has had many struggles in its long efforts to rebuild, first from its devastating civil war in the 1990s and early 2000s and, now, from Ebola. And one of the hardest struggles has been education. In 2013, after all 25,000 high school students sitting state university entrance exams failed, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf admitted that the education system was “a mess” and called for a complete overhaul. Now it seems Sirleaf’s government has decided that rather than overhauling the education system themselves, they’re…

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Politics 

Building A Better Future For Our Children

By George Werner Every child deserves a great education – one that allows her to follow her dreams and achieve her potential. And yet in Liberia we are failing too many of our children. Our teachers, our schools and our system all face deep and embedded challenges. Unfortunately, it is in the poorest communities where those challenges are greatest. We have a big challenge to solve It is a significant success that 1.5 million children are now enrolled in primary school. But 42 percent of primary age children remain out…

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Politics 

An Africa First! Liberia outsource education to a private American firm.

IN January, Liberia’s minister of education made a far-reaching announcement, which nevertheless has largely flown under the radar – until now, when a top UN official has come out strongly in opposition to it. Liberian education Minister George Werner announced that the entire pre-primary and primary education system would be outsourced to Bridge International Academies to manage. The deal will see the government of Liberia pay over $65 million over a five-year period; public funding for education will support services subcontracted to the private, for-profit, US-based company. Under the public-private…

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Politics 

Are We Ready To Fix Our Broken Education System?

By: Nathaniel Barnes Listen to any talk show on Liberia’s airwaves and you will get one unequivocal impression: Liberians are becoming increasingly frustrated with the slow pace of socioeconomic progress. No doubt, the challenges are enormous and the resources are scarce. However, this is no excuse for inaction. To get Liberia on track to a prosperous future will require laser focus on spurring innovation and making substantial investments in a select few sectors that have the greatest potential to address our immediate challenges – including unemployment, inadequate infrastructure, food insecurity,…

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Confronting The Liberian Education Challenge

Introduction and Definition The Liberian education system is seriously ill with the condition worsening by the day. What exact illness is it suffering from? I use the disease model as a metaphor to highlight how grave the issue is and suggest bold, yet practical paths to its recovery. Three steps are typically necessary when one uses the disease framework: description of the problem, a diagnosis of the cause, and a prescription of the remedy. The term education system here refers to the collection of individual institutions that are involved in…

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Politics 

Is George Werner A Good Fit to Serve As Education Minister?

PAUL JACKSON President Sirleaf has an admirable record of including young Liberians in her government and deserves commendation for such far-sighted approach.But the position of Education Minister is one that has huge public policy implications, so when selecting or appointing anyone to that position, the decision must be tempered with a desire to produce results than by a drive to foster political opportunism. We all understand the role loyalty plays in political appointments, but a position such as Education Minister requires someone with more substance than political swagger. For starters,…

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News 

Liberia Education Ministry Uncertain About Schools Re-opening

Education Ministry Uncertain Liberian Listener Staff Report MONROVIA, December 1 -The Ministry of Education is uncertain about the re-opening of schools early next year, Deputy Education Minister for Instruction, Hawah Goll-Kotchi, said. She made the remarks recently in Sinkor near Monrovia. She said the Ministry has written a proposal to the Ministry of Health. The Health Ministry Given Liberia’s current predicament is clothed with the authority to declare when schools will re-open. Goll-Kotchi assured that before that all public schools were reopened, the buildings needed to be sanitized and provided…

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The Challenge of Fixing Our Education System

Mr. Editor, You make me laugh when you challenge the Minister of education  (Etmonia David Tarpeh) to fix our broken educational system, especially when we all know that nothing has changed since Madame Tarpeh took over…Seriously, don’t you think you’re beating a dead horse?? I do.. (Re” The Challenge of Fixing Our Education System” Daily Observer Online) Long before Etmonia David Tarpeh took over the Ministry of Education (MOE), it already had a poor track record for K-12 education, but as the Congo man say, “Since Pneumonia, oops, I mean…

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