Let’s instigate with a fair evaluation of the Liberian education system and try to discover the glitches of development in the process. It is my wish that numerous voters in Liberia will force their lawmakers to provision increment in future budget allocations for education development. It is depressing to discern that out of a proposed budget of $604 million for fiscal 2015/16, the Ministry of Education has an allocation of $41 million. In my opinion, this amount is consecutively limited for education development in Liberia. There is a big difference when it comes to expenditures and incomes. How does the Ministry of Education function with such a limited economical?
Because of the bureaucracy, the Ministry of Education has no control over funds beyond its $41 million. If I research well, the Ministry of Finance/GOL paid over $41 million for personnel services at the Ministry of Education according the 2012 fiscal performance report. Today, the present Minister of Education, Mr. George Werner is being allotted $41 million to clean up the mess in the Liberian Education System. How realistic is this? Goals should be realistic and achievable! Should the people of Liberia expect the Ministry of Education to perform magic? Wondering………….
Another interesting question is, why the Legislature had not call on the former education minister, Ms. Etmonia Tarpeh to explicate her past budget performance at the Ministry of Education? It is very unrealistic to reduce Liberia education budget from 80 million to 41 million. What happens to the General Auditing Report after the removal of the former education minister? Was Minister Etomonia Tarpeh given the adequate resources and sanctioned to perform her job? However, why would anyone take up an appointed position without sufficient funds allocated in the budget to carry out the job description, and hold on to that position collecting salaries? I am very curious! I think the honorable thing for the former Minister Tarpeh to have done is to resign within the first six months of her appointment after realizing there wasn’t sufficient cash to carry out educational projects in the country, her action would have kept her reputation intact. It is imperative that the present Minister of Education, Mr. George Werner conduct a serious audit that will distinct his performance from his predecessor. The Liberian Legislature has been marginalizing education development over the years, and it needs to stop. Quality education is very significant for our children in country.
Liberia as country should create a vision to build a society which is peaceful, with political stability, security and social order; a prosperous nation with long-term economic growth, sustainable and equitable development, enhanced livelihoods of people, and reduced poverty incidence; a society which is committed to environmental protection, enhanced culture and national identity which firmly adheres to the principles of multi-party democracy and shows respect for human rights and dignity; and an advanced society with well-connected social fabrics and well-educated and culturally advanced population who enjoy a good standard of living and live in harmony both within the society and family; and a noble nation with high reputation in international for a and a full-fledged member of the international community.
Liberia should pursues to reach the status of an upper-middle income country by 2030 and a high income country by 2050. The Government has to set out four strategic objectives: 1) ensuring an average annual economic growth of 8%; 2) creating more jobs for people especially the youth; 3) achieving more than 1 percentage point reduction in poverty incidence annually and 4) further strengthening institutional capacity and governance at both national and sub-national levels. The Liberian Government should focus on human resource development to ensure competitiveness in an increasingly open regional labor market through: 1) training of skilled and productive labor to meet market demand and increase value added; 2) building educational and vocational training institutions and developing regulatory frameworks; 3) encouraging private sector participation; 4) strengthening the quality of education and promoting scientific research, technology development and innovation.
I am convinced that Liberia could lay the foundations for becoming a middle income country in 2030. In order to promote public service delivery and local development, the Government should be committed to transfer roles and responsibilities to different counties in the country. In the long term, these unified administrations will coordinate all administrative activities, including those of the districts and counties education offices, which could gradually transfer roles and responsibilities on decentralization and de-concentration reform.
The development of human resources with quality, ability and virtue is a key factor to support economic growth and the country’s competitiveness in the future especially as Liberia is a low middle income country and aims to be a high average income country in 2030 and a developed country in 2050. This should be the goal for all Liberian leaders. To this purpose, human resource development as the building of knowledge, competence, entrepreneurship, skills, creativity and innovation in all sectors but especially science and technology and the ability to manage research and development is essential. At the same, Liberia should aim to enhance in the population the quality of the health, moral and spiritual responsibility, patriotic and professional consciousness with zero gender discrimination.
Hence, development of high quality and capable human resources should meet the immediate and long term needs of economic growth and improving competitiveness during Liberia’s socioeconomic development which will remains a challenge for future Government. In education, it is required to particularly focus on strengthening the quality and responsiveness to labor market demand and the development of technical skills for adolescence to increase their jobs. Thank you.
Legislature limits education budget to salaries, Minister hits; Retrieved: http://frontpageafricaonline.com/index.php/news/5852-legislature-limits-education-budget-to-salaries-minister-hit?fb_comment_id=856146237808837_856270521129742#f17dc07328
Record of Liberian Government’s Financial Performance, MoF Publishes Fiscal Outturns – Retrieved: http://www.frontpageafricaonline.com/old/news/general-news/7751-record-of-liberian-governments-financial-performance-mof-publishes-fiscal-outturns.html
Ministry of Finance & Development Planning, Republic of Liberia National Budget, retrieved: http://www.mfdp.gov.lr/index.php/the-budget