Can the Pro Poor Agenda Resolve the Nation’s Education Crisis?

first_imgThe attention of this newspaper has been drawn to a story carried in its Tuesday November 13th edition headlined “62 percent of Public School Teachers Not Qualified” quoting a recent World Bank report. According to the recent World Bank report, 62 percent of all teachers that are assigned in public primary schools across the country do not hold a “C” certificate.The “C” certificate is the minimum qualification required for teachers in public schools in Liberia. The World Bank also reports that teacher quality at the secondary level is very low where only about a third of secondary teachers possess the minimum qualification which is a University degree or an “A” certificate.In short, a general lack of qualified teachers and the generally low quality of teaching are principal drivers of low learning outcomes in Liberia, according to a recently concluded World Bank, Liberian government Joint Education Review held in Ganta, Nimba County. What the World Bank statement apparently forgot to state was that Government of Liberia spending on education in the 2018-2019 budget amounts to a paltry US$5 million.That the educational system of the nation is imperiled is an understatement. Former President Sirleaf described it as a mess and her solution to the problem was to outsource public education to private business interests. Despite protests from the National Teachers Association of Liberia, UNESCO, UNICEF and others, the project went full steam ahead.The Bridge-Liberia partnership and the scandal-ridden More Than Me Academy, for example were touted as laudable examples of what could be achieved through outsourcing of public education to private business interests. But the results purportedly achieved under this scheme remained at best questionable.The current situation is alarming and it stands in urgent need of remedial action. Firstly the allocation to education in the national budget is abysmally low. For example, most public schools around the country lack, in addition to qualified teachers, relevant instructional materials including desks and chairs and the chronic lack of science laboratories and libraries.Given the disastrous results of the public education outsourcing policy and, given the alarming level of low learning outcomes in our public schools, it is clear and self-evident that in the absence of adequate funding to education, national development efforts shall remain stymied and the nation’s progress impeded. Such funding should include provisions for teacher training and the production of adequate and relevant learning materials.While this newspaper holds that the nation’s broken education system is one inherited by this government, yet it cannot serve as an excuse for the demonstrated lack of commitment to fund education of the country’s human resource. It must not be forgotten that this government was elected on a welter of promises to fix the country’s problems.Given the current outlook, there is little reason for optimism about the government’s ability to deliver on its promises. A cursory review of the budget, for example, shows that total budgetary allocation for health, agriculture and education amounts to a mere US$9.28 million. On the other hand, budgetary allocation to social benefits for former elected officials, standing at US$48 million, is more than five times the total allocation for health, education and agriculture combined.Against this backdrop, it becomes difficult to see just how the Pro Poor Agenda for national prosperity and development will yield any tangible results at all. It can be recalled that recently, President Weah announced a tuition-free policy for all students enrolled in public universities and colleges.This newspaper lauds the President’s intentions to provide tuition free education to students in public institutions of higher learning. Yet it cannot remain oblivious of the fact that the current budgetary outlay for education is grossly inadequate and may more likely than not, hamper the successful actualization and implementation of the tuition-free policy announced by President Weah.The public is all too aware of President Weah’s promise to build a great nation but he cannot successfully do so if the preponderant majority of its people remain uneducated. There are no shortcuts to development without education, The United Nations recommend that governments around the world should spend at least 20 percent of their national budgets on education.Poor funding to education is said to be responsible for the Ministry of Education’s inability to properly monitor schools. According to 2016 Ministry of Education report, school monitoring is hampered by a lack of training, lack of fuel and poor accountability for County Education and District Education officers, neither does it have a single monitoring tool or use of smart phone technology to gather and report school data.The key question is whether the Pro Poor Agenda for prosperity and development can turn around the fortunes of the nation’s educational systems, which former President Sirleaf described as a “mess”. Can the Pro Poor Agenda resolve the nation’s education crisis? Only time will tell.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Up to 70% off in the ultimate Black Friday sale at Ballybofey Autofactors

first_imgBallybofey Autofactors are hosting the ultimate Black Friday sale this weekend with massive discounts and an unmissable in store event.To celebrate the launch of their new online store, they are hosting top reductions of up to 70% off from midnight Thursday 23rd November through to midnight on Monday 27th November.If you are looking for tools and garage workshop equipment, this sale is just what you need. Ballybofey Autofactors are knocking up to 70% off the prices of hundreds of items, from tool chests, space heaters, air compressors, generators, power tools, hand tools, diagnostic equipment, trolley jacks and much more. The store on Navenny Street Ballybofey will be a hotspot of exclusive deals on Black Friday, 24th November. From 8am to 9pm Ballybofey Autofactors will be buzzing with demonstrations to help customers find their best bargains.Owner Damien Mc Elhinney told Donegal Daily that there are unmissable events and offers planned for the one day sale in the new store. “There will be massive discounts throughout the day, along with online offers all weekend,” Damien said.“We’d encourage people to be there early to avoid disappointment. This sale is an ideal time to buy a Christmas gift for the person in your life who is interested in mechanics, repairs and DIY.”Reductions on diagnostic equipment from leading brands including Delphi and Bosch will be in store only this Friday. Diagnostics expert David Molloy will be on hand, giving demonstrations and talking customers through all the diagnostic machines on offer, which are necessary requirements for every garage.The Ballybofey Autofactors are thinking ahead for their customers’ needs during bad weather. They are cutting prices on petrol generators after recent storms which left people without power. From €199 you’ll get a great generator to react to all weather.Space heaters are set to be on offer for as little as €99, so keeping warm in the workshop will be easy this winter.The online store will be packed with amazing deals for four days this weekend, where customers can stock up on Premium brands including Beta, Sealey, Draper and Sip. Ballybofey Autofactors are the exclusive stockists of Beta workwear in Donegal, supplying an impressive range of top-quality overalls, jackets, footwear and tools.“We’re very very excited to launch our brand new website and this weekend will be a unique chance to get our goods at great prices,” Damien added. “We provide nationwide delivery and we will have a team on hand packing and shipping orders all weekend so that customers orders will be dispatched without any delay.” Add to your bookmarks now to make sure you don’t miss the Black Friday weekend sale.Follow Ballybofey Autofactors Ltd for updates: to 70% off in the ultimate Black Friday sale at Ballybofey Autofactors was last modified: November 15th, 2017 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Ballybofey Autofactorslast_img read more