MONROVIA, LIBERIA – In a press conference hosted at the Ministry of Education, Professor, Dr. Ansu Dao Sonii, Sr. lamented on recent concerns of malpractices during the WASSC Examinations and emphasized plans to continue the much-needed reform of the education sector.
Minister Sonii has ordered the administration of the “Mother Esther Newpan School” to dismiss a teacher who was caught in possession of photocopies of materials deemed illegal at the examinations hall.
Similarly, students who were found in the act of cheating were also disqualified and withdrawn from the examination pending further investigation which could result in 2 to 3 years ban from admittance to the WASSCE or WAEC.
As a result, Prof. Dr. Sonii admonished parents, students, school administration, the public, and media to get involved in discouraging and creating awareness against exam malpractices, as any such situation will be very detrimental to our country. He stressed the need for everyone to desist from promoting what is term as “feasibility fees” during these examinations period.
Additionally, Deputy Minister, Honorable Latim Dathong also warned schools administrators to desist from denying students the opportunity to attend classes due to lateness. He added that schools should institute on-campus disciplinary actions to discourage students’ lateness rather than ejecting students from school premise and denying them full-day learning.
In other related briefings, Professor Sonii had vowed to continue the path of reforming the education sector by employing mechanisms to improve key outcomes such as improving scholarship opportunities for Liberians; adequately preparing our students for WASSCE; school inspection; and the involvement of all stakeholders through a National Education Summit.
In a previous message, Professor, Dr. Sonii reminded, “the Ministry of Education and all of its key functions are public concern, and the Ministry remains obligated to frequently informing the public about its activities to avoid speculations and at the same time, ensure that stakeholders of the sector are cognizant of their responsibilities”.
Professor, Dr. Sonii further commented on the progress of the Ministry’s initiative to assess the state of the education sector. As part of actions to address the several concerns raised by the public since the appointment of the new officials at the Ministry of Education, the Minister outlined several plans and actions that are currently in effect, including opportunities for Liberians to empower themselves through Government’s initiatives:
Addressing concerns about Schools Operation
The Minister confirmed a nationwide school inspection headed by his team of Deputy and Assistant Ministers together with members of various Bureaus and Divisions within the Ministry. He further added that the outcome of the findings from the school’s inspection will help make a determination of remedial actions to be taken, thereupon.
National Summit on Education
Following the nationwide schools’ inspection, the Ministry has scheduled to hold an education summit in Mid-May of this 2018, to bring together a cross-section of stakeholders of respective communities in an attempt to craft measures to remedy challenges of the education sector.
Teaching Civics Education in Schools
Prof. Dr. Sonii announced the reinstatement of Civics Education in the curriculum of schools across Liberia. He noted that this measure takes effect immediately as of the next academic school year which begins in September 2018.
He added that one of the fundamental issues of national development is the absence of a full scope implementation of a nationalistic will; in the past, civics helped fixed some of those behavioral problems and gravitate our young minds to love country first.
Scholarship Opportunities for Liberians
The Minister also took time to inform the public as far as training opportunities are concerned that, there are available scholarships for Liberian students at the Masters level and above from Egypt, Indonesia, and China. He encouraged students to frequently visit the Ministry’s or the Executive Mansion’s website to keep informed on developments of these opportunities. He also asked the press to extend this information to the public through their media houses.
Administration of West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examinations (WASSCE)
Prof. Dr. Sonii asserted that until the WASSC Examinations results are out and published no school shall have a “Thanks Giving Service”, which in truth has been a form of graduation exercise in a covert manner.
He urged all schools administrators to cooperate and forge towards building an education sector void of all the negative labels adjudicated to it in the past.
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For more information, please contact the Ministry of Education through email: [email protected].