Monrovia – Prof. Sonii was confirmed on Thursday, February 15 by the Senate, along with two deputy ministers, Latim Da-thong as Deputy Minister for Administration, and Alton Kesselly as Deputy Minister for Planning.
Prior to being confirmed, the three ministers were called for a confirmation hearing on February 7, 2018 before 13 Senators in a session chaired by Sen. Dallas Gueh, head of the Senate Committee on Education.
Other Senators present during the hearing included Sens. Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence, Peter Coleman, Milton Teahjay, Conmany Wesseh, Oscar Cooper, Jonathan Kaipay, Varney Sherman, Morris Saytumah, Stephen Zargo, Gbleh-bo Brown, George Tengbeh, Jim Tornolah.
The Senators had few questions for the three nominees and noted that their backgrounds made them capable of undertaking the task of leading the ministry.
Sen. Morris Saytumah noted that the Ministry of Education nominees “appear to be the best that President Weah has submitted.”
The Senators, most of whom come from a teaching background or own schools, pledged to work closely with the ministers to give the education sector a priority.
All three confirmed ministers hail from backgrounds steeped in education and academia.
Prof. Sonii is a career educator and an accounting professional.
He first entered the teaching profession in 1970 after completing high school, going on to be a long-serving staff of the University of Liberia.
He served in various capacities for 29 years before retiring as vice president for administration in April 2016.
A senior Partner in PKF Liberia, which is part of the PKF International Limited Accounting Company, Prof. Sonii also owns a school in Montserrado County, the D. Ansu Sonii Foundation Academy.
The deputy minister for administration, Da-thong, is the President of Starz College, a private school focused on science and technology.
Starz started out in 2009 and graduated its first cohort of B.Sc. students in 2017.
Min. Da-Thong has taught in the U.S., serving in the Raleigh, North Carolina public school system for seven years.
He is also a co-chair of the boards of the Liberian Institute of Public Administration and the Alexander Cummings Model School of Science and Technology.
He has a B.Sc. in Computer Science and a Masters in Business Administration.
Kesselly, the incoming deputy minister for planning, holds a Masters in applied mathematics from the University of Cape Town, a Masters in mathematical science from the African Institute of Mathematical Science in South Africa, and a Masters in astrophysics from the University of Science and Technology of China.
Min. Kesselly also holds a B.Sc. in physics from the University of Abuja in Nigeria.
He previously served as the executive director of the Liberia Institute of Science Technology and Engineering.
The following nominees for posts within the Ministry of Education are yet to be confirmed:
Alexander Doupu, Deputy Minister for Instruction
Sokou Dukuly, Assistant Minister for Science, Technology, Vocational and Special Education
Felicia Sackey Doe-Sumah, Assistant Minister for Elementary and Secondary Education
Othello W. Nimely, Assistant Minister of Education for Student Personnel Services
Henrietta M. Sackor, Assistant Minister for General Administration
Dominic D. N. Kweme, Assistant Minister for Research and Planning
James A. Massaquoi, Assistant Minister for Fiscal Affairs and Human Resources
Gayflor Y. Washington, Assistant Minister for Teacher Education