Liberia: George Werner fulfills Promise of Half a Million to Cover Teachers’ Tuition in Grand Kru
Monrovia – Former Minister of Education and Grand Kru County senatorial aspirant, George K. Werner, has made good his promise of L$500,000 to cover tuition owed by graduated teachers of LICOSES Teachers Training College, according to a statement from the institution’s chief administrator, Joseph Wehye.
LICOSES is one of Liberia’s premier tteacher training institutions and is an implementing partner of the Ministry of Education in training teachers across the country per the government’s approved teaching curriculum.
The teachers, recipients of B and C certificates from both public and private schools, graduated from the teaching college at a convocation ceremony held at the Barclayville City Hall, Grand Kru County in February.
“Mr. Werner promised to pay the remaining arrears of all graduating teachers in the tune of over $500,000 LD,” he stated. “Mr. Werner’s gesture was the first of its kind since the institution moved to the county four years ago.”
During the ceremony, former minister Werner decried the performance of students from Grand Kru in public exams and called for more investment in teachers to enable them to be prepared with modern learning tools.
“Because of Mr. Werner’s gesture to the people of Grand Kru, LICOSESS has also decided to waive the remaining graduating fees of all those who were eligible for graduation,” Wehyee mentioned in the statement.
“Mr. Werner further applauded the LICOSES Teacher Training College for the innovation adopted in moving to those that need it most and promised to work with the institution to improve other areas of the curriculum as well as provide opportunities for in-service and pre-service teachers to continually benefit from training opportunities.
Liberia’s education system remains besotted with a myriad of problems which include over-age enrollment at primary and early childhood levels, disparities in access and completion at the basic education levels, chronic lack of English, Math and science teachers at the junior and and high school levels, inadequately trained and inequitable distribution of teachers, amongst others.
According to official statistics, Grand Kru is one of the counties hardest hit with these challenges. And former minister Werner, in a brief chat, said it is one of the reasons he’s throwing his hat in the race in the upcoming midterm senatorial election.
“I believe in human capital development which is one of the pillars of my platform,” he said. “Teachers can’t teach what they don’t know. In far-flung areas like Grand Kru, there is a need for lifelong learning centers. Grand Kru has a history of producing leaders, especially nationally. That history is eroding due to many factors. We need to restore it through concerted efforts.”
He furthered that government needs proven and vetted partners, such as LISCOSESS, who have been implementing the government’s approved curriculum for teacher training. “Covid-19 has given us an opportunity to close the gaps in our educational system in much the same way Ebola made us to think outside of the box, as it were. We need trained teachers who show up to teach every day on time and are paid fairly on time and on location. This is a long-standing gap that Liberia needs to close urgently.”