Liberia: Meet 23-Yr-old Precious Joy Teeweh, the Female Educator Transforming Liberia’s Early Childhood Education
MONROVIA – If there is one thing Precious Joy Teeweh cares about, it’s changing Liberia’s early childhood education for the better. Her inspiration for her career path started in the Kindergarten Class in 2007 at the Well Hairston Institute, located at Chicken Soup Factory, Gardnersville.
By Selma Lomax, [email protected]
“I was discriminated against because of my body size, and my then age of 18, and my impoverished condition growing up,” she told FrontPage Africa. “Some people usually overlooked me because of how young I was. But that never stopped me from doing the exploits and being professional in my career. People who term to judge before knowing me often have fallen prey to my commitment and intentional desire to help improve the educational sector.”
Precious, 23, was driven by a good example of her Kindergarten-2 teacher and decided by then that she would become a teacher.
In this endeavor, Precious has chosen to render her educational services in the area of early childhood education, believing that in so doing she would make a great impact in developing the minds of young children who would eventually grow up to make a positive impact in society.
“When the child’s foundation is solid, every other thing that comes after will be good. That’s is the main reason I have devoted my time to early childhood education,” she said.
She has produced two textbooks (Reading Readiness and Math Readiness) for three years old. The Reading Readiness Book is intended to provide simple learning materials to help all preschoolers develop early reading skills by reciting letter names and sounds, recognizing letters, and colors, and associating letters with objects.
She told FrontPage Africa that it also helps in developing the students’ Fine Motor (fingers) writing skills through, tracing and coloring different letters and objects using a crayon and pencil. The content of this book is aligned with the National Play-based Early Childhood Curriculum prescribed by the Ministry of Education, Liberia.
The Math Readiness Book, according to Pressure, is intended to provide simple ways at first sight learning pre-schoolers in developing early math skills and build concepts by recognizing numbers, working with one-to-one correspondence, and working with different educative topics that also aligned with the National Play-based Early Childhood Curriculum prescribed by the Ministry of Education, Liberia.
“These lessons are taught through counting images, and recognizing and coloring images that are integrated with basic Science and Social Studies lessons for three years old,” she said.
“Lack of adequate and appropriate textbooks for use by teachers and students. Based on this, she has two workbooks that are in line with the Liberia Early Childhood curriculum to be used in schools at the Nursery level. These books will serve as a great help to alleviate the struggle faced by teachers and parents in finding essential learning materials for first-time school-goers.”
Precious’ journey to seeing a better early childhood education in Liberia hasn’t come without challenges.
She said the low salary she earns monthly is serving as an impediment. “The money I receive as a salary can barely take care of my needs, such as transportation, feeding, and contributing to my impoverished family,” she added.
But she told FrontPage Africa as a means of attempting to fend off these challenges, she has conquered taken a second job as a home tutor and a weekend maid to get something to help herself, her family, and other people.
A national honoree
Precious rose to national prominence when she won Presidential National Best Teacher Award in Liberia in 2022. As part of the honor, the Government of Liberia provided a cash award of One Million Liberian Dollars ($1,000,000.00 LRD).
Precious said she has used this cash award to print more sets of books for schools and parents that expressed interest in her books.
As a means of promoting her endeavor, Precious says the Ministry of Education contributed One Thousand Six Hundred United States Dollars toward the printing of 110 Sets of these books to supply Public Early Childhood Education centers within Liberia.