Government, in its bid to revamp education in the country must not give a blind eye to the plight of educators in the country.
What plight do educators face? It is the mere apathy of living with meager salaries to a point that the students they teach live higher economic echelon as opposed to them, who have nothing financial or material as proof of being learned men and women.
Many of the most learned people today in Liberia are found in the schools and universities. Many are bookworm—highly educated men and women, and as such, they find themselves involuntarily in the schools or universities imparting knowledge since many could not find a lucrative job commensurate to their qualifications.
However, we all know how messy is the educational system in that its messiness is a justification to this assertion that teachers and university lecturers are not well-paid, and its also a justification why most university graduates hardly push the pen to the standards expected of someone worthy of a higher education.
Whilst is it true the educational system is messy, it is equally true that government has not given an open-eye to the dilemma of the people who impart priceless knowledge to many students who today have become unfathomable in knowledge having benefited from such instruction.
In brief, INSIGHT has observed that the educational system is messy because educators do their own thing due to the lack of motivation and other intrinsic benefits, which encumber their enthusiasm to work.
For instance, when a lecturer does not have a car, he/she treks to school, or rather begs lift from his/her student to class lectures or to return home after lectures.
If one could not get a lift, he toes the line in the midst of chaos—the headaches of getting vehicles in the morning and evening hours to and fro.
If this is the case for most teachers or lecturers, would they take the teaching profession seriously?
Evidently, if the teacher or lecturer cannot afford a car, for instance, but his students do, do you think those students would have respect for that beggar teacher or lecturer?
Corruption over grades lingers in some higher institutions in Liberia because a pauper teacher or lecturer who wants to raise head above water would compromise to take money from students to make ends meet.
Now, INSIGHT would like to recommend the following to government if government has the true intention to revamp education in this country:
One, increase teachers salaries so that, according to their varied qualifications, a teacher, particularly, a university lecturer, can afford his own car, at least, within the confines of either a month or two salaries.
Two, provide decent housing accommodations for qualified teachers, especially, those at the university level. Most lecturers live in appalling housing conditions like an illiterate, or live in the vicinity of an illiterate, as a result, people look down on the value of education.
Government must add value to people who are educated so that the youths of today will value education; otherwise, people who cannot see the difference between an educated person and a non-educated, do not understand why they should acquire education when people educated live like paupers in their midst.
In short, if government is genuine about revamping the educational system, government will first add value to educators in the country by salary increment to compensate for today’s reality.
Furthermore, government will provide decent housing facility equipped with modern amenities, such as water and electricity, if education would be given priority in this country.
Government in his bid to revamp education must consider academic excellence and grant scholarships to the educator who merited the scholarship to train abroad at renowned universities.
Government will encourage publications by granting bursaries for research in every department at the University of Liberia, which will breathe academics in their specialization as a means to foster the growth and love for education in this country.
A pauper is an impoverished person who is eligible to receive aid from public funds, but in this case, educators have become paupers because they receive money from their students who sensing their teachers’ fallen conditions have taken advantage of them for grades by brandishing money before them.
In those days before the war, the University of Liberia’s lecturers had decent housing and utilities at their complete disposal plus handsome salaries, which brought them respect and attracted expert lecturers from different countries to sell their services in Liberia.
The country reaped a bountiful dividend in that education was education in Liberia in those days.
Certainly, those who had earlier graduated from the university can attest that this is true, and that today is a flop, because less qualified lecturers roam the universities and the qualified are nonchalant to teaching well because of disincentive.
Finally, If government is serious about revamping education, it will revamp the teachers’ plight first.
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