New authorities at the Ministry of Education (MOE) have instituted 12-count plans they said would strengthen the country’s education sector in the coming years.
According to Minister Ansu Sonii, the Ministry has embarked on the licensing of teachers, re-introduction of civics education in the national curriculum and drifting laws to establish an academic crime court to prosecute individuals suspected of committing fraud in the sector.
Dr. Sonii said the new policies will ensure strict compliance wherein all teachers will be licensed by MoE authorities to identify a particular holder as a trained and bona-fide teacher.”
Minister Sonii explained that teachers would be evaluated through examinations to determine whether they are qualified to serve as classroom instructors.
“Mind you, graduating from any of the rural teacher training institutes does not automatically make that graduate a teacher – until that person can be licensed by MoE, he or she is not a teacher,” the former professor at the University of Liberia said.
Dr. Sonii said the ministry will not consider degrees and certificates from teacher training institutes across the country as a basis for licensing of teachers because those certificates and degrees are papers obtained to teach, which doesn’t necessarily make the holder a qualified teacher.
The Education Minister makes the remarks on March 1, 2018, at his first press conference since his appointment by President George Weah couple weeks ago.
Minister Sonii further revealed that the exercise, which is in line with President Weah’s Pro-Poor Agenda to protect the teaching profession, will commence soon and is expected to be completed in two years.
He disclosed that MoE will regularize 580 teachers on its supplementary payroll.
The former UL professor said teachers who have spent 35 to 40 years in the classrooms would be exempted from writing the test, but will have to go through a cleaning process to refreshing their memories.
Meanwhile, Dr. Sonii has threatened drastic action against school principals that will allow ‘unlicensed teachers’ into their classrooms.
He also noted that teachers, who licenses have been revoked for whatever reason, will not be allowed to teach in any school be it public or private.
Liberia’s new Education Minister says his dream is to improve the country education sector. Therefore, he’s calling for the establishment of an academic crimes court separate from other criminal courts at the Temple of Justice.