Werner’s Facebook Post – An Act Least Expected of an Education Minister


WE ARE NOT IGNORANT TO THE fact that we live in a society where people’s views and opinions must be respected; however, we also believe that those expressed views and opinions must be condemned when they don’t represent the general good of the people.

ONE OF SUCH DESPICABLE and not well-thought-of view that warrants condemnation to the highest level is that of Education Minister George Werner on his Facebook page on Thursday, August 17, 2017 just a couple of hours to Liberia’s presidential debate.

MINISTER GEORGE K. WERNER whom we expect to promote education and intellectualism in a way, in his Facebook post egregiously and without any appreciation for the education he has obtained over the years concluded that education is not what it takes to build Liberia, hence attending a presidential debate was of no essence as it was only an exercise intended to flex intellectual muscles.

WERNER WROTE: “What’s the purpose of political debates in Liberia, and who are the debates for? Where’s the evidence that a candidate became president in Liberia because s/he was a great debater? Let those who manage the candidates advise them to campaign to their strengths. Don’t debate if it isn’t your strength. There are many other ways to articulate your platform or vision for the country. The debates could be a setup by the meritocratic elite (for the elite) to show how educated and knowledgeable they are. It’s been an essential part of Liberian history, of exclusion even, to eliminate the perceived uneducated through “book” talk. Read between the lines and see the edited videos of Weah’s speeches on social media. Da book talk we’ll eat? For those who are surprised by this post, I haven’t changed my views since 2004.

“THEY LIKE HIDING BEHIND books to lie to the people. How does a debate, an intellectual exercise, help you to “live Liberia, think Liberia, and love Liberia”? By the way, who won the debates in 2005 and 2011? Where are they now?”

 “TO THE BOOK PEOPLE, education does not promote equality and shared prosperity. Education alone is not enough to make anyone a “good” leader. The suggestion that all must participate in debates to justify their quest for leadership and their ‘educatedness” is tabata (origin in Kru, anything that does not make sense), to say the least. How about meeting voters in the palava huts, under the trees, in their communities and homes. By the way, don’t use the schools and break the desks and chairs. Advice to all candidates: campaign to your strengths. Don’t follow the meritocratic elites’ intellectual stagecraft. They set it up to their advantage with their unscrupulous recorders and editors.”

WERNER MIGHT HAVE FELT quite uneasy with himself after reading the comments that came pouring in under this post.

AS MINISTER OF EDUCATION WHO ought to know better and embrace a culture that promotes the need to build a society where the essence of being educated and intellectually inclined is appreciated, rather takes the center stage in abuse of his office to condemn the essence being educated during these critical times of elections.

“NOBODY SHOULD politicize education,” we heard him say before.

WERNER PERHAPS LACKS INTEREST in Liberia, least to educating the youth of this country. Arguably, compared to other countries in the sub-region, Liberia’s youth are less sophisticated. We surmised that our youth are the way they are because the likes of Dr. H. Boimah Fahbulleh, Dr. Togba-Na Tipoteh, Dr. Emmanuel Dolo, Mrs. Frances Johnson-Allison, Mme. Gladys Johnson, etc are mute. They are not awakening the consciences of the young people. The young people are now being fed with trash, so we’re often not surprised by some of their actions – no role model.

BUT DEBATES LIKE THESE which education minister Werner attempted proving worthless is one that enlightens our society. It’s one that erases already perceived negative notions and precepts that clout the minds of, especially the youth, leading to unsubstantiated arguments and making wrong choices on the ballot paper.  

WERNER FACEBOOK POSTS say much about why his country of origin – Grand Kru – was the worst performing county in this year’s WAEC exams – “education is unimportant to the development of Liberia, he thinks, so what commitment will he ever have to improve the quality of education in Liberia?

WE CALL ON WERNER, BEING the Minister of Education for the Republic of Liberia, to apologize to the public for such a post on social media, as it does not only demonstrate his lack of interest in promoting education in Liberia, but also shows that he is a wet blanket when it comes to creating a culture of delivering quality education and promoting an intellectual society.

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