Liberia: KRTTI Graduates 104 Teachers From 8 Counties

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Kakata, Margibi County – The Kakata Rural Teacher Training Institute (KRTTI) in Kakata, Margibi County, has graduated 104 trainees from its Cohort 10 Pre-Service “C” certificate teacher training program. 

The graduates include 16 female and 88 male, who were recruited from Margibi, Montserrado, Bomi, Gbarpolu, Grand Bassa, Grand Cape Mount, and Rivercess Counties.

George B. Kpenneh, the Director of the KRTTI, lauded the graduates for their maximum cooperation during the implementation of the 2018/ 2019 Academic Year.

“Let me also appreciate the instructional staff for their tireless efforts in making sure that these young Liberians were trained despite several challenges encountered,” Mr. Kpanneh noted.

He admonished the graduates to apply all those professional skills acquired to develop themselves and positively contribute to the Liberian society.

The KRTTI Director assured the Ministry of Education of his administration’s commitment to doing its utmost best to ensure that quality and qualified teachers are produced in subsequent cohorts.

Mr. Kpenneh added: “As we present these graduates as qualified teachers to serve in various schools in Liberia, we urge the Ministry of Education to do her best to absorb them as soon as possible so as to encourage other young Liberians who may wish to venture into the teaching field. If this not done, the Ministry may lose track of some of them and other young people may show less interest in the field.”

he said his administration continues to solve problems at the school in two crucial ways.

According to him, the ways involved quality academic performance-based processes by giving pre-test (diagnostic test) to determine trainees’ prior knowledge. 

The diagnostic test, according to Director Kpenneh, determines how the trainers should proceed with the academic and or instructional process knowing the trainees individual and collective knowledge levels.

“Another test called post-test is administered to indicate whether there’s an improved behavioral change varying between entry knowledge and post-entry knowledge,” Mr. Kpenneh disclosed.

He noted that these instructional processes can inform the trainers to provide remedial sessions to close learning gaps that may be noticed.

Additionally, the KRTTI Director said the third phase goes beyond the two and is the Basic Skills Test, which is referred to as the screening test and distinguishes those who are fit and those unfit to continue with the mainstream program.

“We are therefore preparing to recommend that our education system be strengthened from the foundation level through high school. The hiring of qualified teachers is crucial to achieving the national goal of education,” Mr. Kpenneh maintained. 

He, however, said despite the many accomplishments the institution is still faced with numerous challenges including irregular supply of electricity, pipe borne water and insufficient supply of instructional materials and food.  

Honorable Janga A. Kowo, the Comptroller General of Liberia, serving as keynote speaker, said that he was proud of the tremendous contributions the KRTTI has made over the years in the transformation of the lives of Liberians. 

He said teachers training institutes are “critical cornerstone” to the Government’s Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD).

He asserted that the CDC-led government in a bid to remain committed to the full implementation of all pillars of the PAPD has taken several critical national decisions despite the economic challenges faced by the country. 

He named some of the decisions as the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) fees payment for 12th graders and the tuition waivers at all public universities and community colleges across the country.

Meanwhile, the Comptroller General announced salary increment from $36.00 to $50.00 for low-earners of the government. This is expected to take effect beginning Fiscal year 2019/2020.

Mr. Kowo disclosed that the increment process is part of the Government’s salary harmonization process which has seen sliced in the salaries of top officials like Ministers, Deputies, Assistant Ministers, Managing Directors, Director Generals, and Directors.

“It had been determined and agreed upon that there should be a considerable salary scale in government that will reduce the huge salary disparity and those monies sliced from top government officials be spread across to low-earners,” Mr. Kowo said. 

He argued that there cannot be people making a huge sum of money that the Government cannot afford, noting that this is the reason the government is engaged in the harmonization of wages. 

He disclosed that the salary increment will cover officers of the Liberian National Police, Armed Forces of Libera, the Liberia Drug Enforcement Agency, Liberia Immigration Service, Teachers, and Health Workers.

“All medical workers for instance that are making below hundred US dollars are going to be a push to hundred US dollars, so you see we are trying to bring equity in civil service when it comes to the wage distribution,” he asserted.  

Kowo added: “Well our understanding is that the International Community has been pressurizing the Liberian Government over the last six to seven years to harmonize salary, but due to the lack of political will on the part of previous government that exercise was not undertaken and as a new government we think it is important to remove the disparity in the public service. You cannot have one secretary making two hundred another secretary making eight hundred so that is why the harmonization is all about.” 

He argued that the government was not succumbing to pressure from the International Community, rather the salary harmonization is the right thing to do. 

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