‘Unprofessional’- Veteran Educator Slams Protesting Teachers
Monrovia – A veteran Liberian educator, Madam Mary Brownell, has agreed with President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf’s mandate for harsh action against teachers and students who set up road blocks in protest of schools being closed and for the Minister of Education to resign.
“Many of the people today in the classrooms are not professional teachers because if you put down the chalks, you are not hurting the President but the students—that’s why I said they are not professional,” Madam Brownell averred.
Madam Brownell’s statement comes in the wake of a recent protest across the country against Minister of Education, George K. Werner, and the Superintendent of the Monrovia Consolidated School System (MCSS), Adolphus B. Jacobs.
In an interview with FPA, she said the average mentality of Liberian is that mob justice is the only way of expressing grievances.
She said the unprofessional nature of the teachers is something that has to be worked on, saying the profession is a unique one.
She said Minister Werner is new and his own plans and programs for the sector, adding that more time should be allotted unto him for implementation.
“It’s a try and error method, if after a year or 6 months, if nothing is working then we can rebel against the partnership, but I beg the teachers and students to give him chance to do his work.”
“Now a day teacher making money that we didn’t get, so they should be happy for what they have and to be frank, many of the teachers in the classroom are not professional.”
She added that the Liberians don’t like change; something she said is contributing to the usual protest against Minister Werner.
“From what I was told there were many ghost names on the payroll and it’s not fair, that’s complete dishonesty, mainly for male teachers to be sleeping with female students.”
Madam Brownell expressed disappointment in the National Teacher Association of Liberia, adding that issues raised by the Minister should have been addressed instead of protesting for his removal.
“I’m disappointed in the NTAL because the Minister raised the issue of ghost name separate. As the head of teachers’ Association, I expected them to have discipline the teacher.”
On the President’s statement, the Liberian Educator said she agrees with the President Sirleaf.
“I agree with the President we have to train the younger ones, they can’t be manipulated by the older ones. I think the best way they should have done it was to send a delegate to the Minister to let out their grievances.”
The Liberian educator added that the massive failure of students in the WAEC should be blamed on the teachers because of their inability to teach the students well.
On a local radio station, Education Minister George Werner said he was not moved by the protest because he cannot be threatened by anyone.
“I’m unmoved because I feel that because we have to talk doesn’t mean you have to threaten. On the side of threat I’m unmoved, so if they want me out as far as I am concern I’m in.’
Minister Werner added that his actions are supported by the President, “The country sent the President and she sent me, so my action is in the interest of the President.”
He said that those protesting are representatives of the NTAL, adding that as far he is concerned most of the teachers are in school.\
“I am the fourth Minister—it doesn’t make a difference because too many demands were made for my predecessors’ resignation, so if mine arises it’s nothing strange.”