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‘Investment In Education Will Drop Illiteracy Rate’ …Deputy Education Minister Advises

By Precious Dennis Freeman
The Coalition For Transparency and Accountability in Education (COTAE) has ended a two-day training workshop to increase stakeholders knowledge about the ‘Abidjan Principles’ and other key issues relative to the fulfillment of the right to education in Liberia.
The Abidjan Principles seek to strengthen existing efforts to ensure that everyone’s right to education is protected in the context of growing and often unregulated private actor involvement in education.
COTAE is a group of human rights experts from around the world who adopted the Abidjan Principles on the right to education and the training workshop was also held in collaboration with the Open Society Initiative For West Africa (OSIWA) for the media institutions and Civil Society Organizations.
Serving as one of the facilitators, the Deputy Minister of Education, Alton V. Kesselly, advised the participants to invest in education in order for the level of illiteracy in the country to drop.
Minister Kesselly said when you invest in education, you reduce unemployment and that in that way, it can also help to boost the country’s economy and place individuals as well as citizens in better positions in the society so that they are able to undertake initiatives that will contribute to the democracy of the country.
“The Government of Liberia is permitted to ensuring that education is provided for all Liberians, and they do recognize that education is a human right and not only executive human right but fundamental human right,” he said.
According to him, the government should also realize that without education it is very much difficult to have a happy life, it even danger your life and security and Liberia has a largely useful society that consists of youths with enough energy and strength therefore government needs to provide the youth with skills and the knowledge to live in the 21st centuries.
”The government has the responsibility to lead the direction and ensuring that we have an education society, and everyone must have it in mind that everyone should have the privilege to education,” he said.
Furthermore he stated that he believes that the 21st century Liberian education system will provide equal access to quality education for all residents, regardless of race, ethnicity, color, creed, gender, special needs, religious, or political affiliation.
Min. Kesselly also said he believes that the foundation of this educational system is based on the following ‘Core (central) values’; Accountability and Commitment to duty, Commitment to excellence of performance, Transparency, Diligence and Moral rectitude.
“I believe that the 21st century Liberia Education will promote the health and well-being of its people to be technologically literate and life-long learners and it will also provide caring, nurturing, safe, and secured learning environment. It will also prepare its people to become productive contributors to nation building through workforce development,” he maintained.
According to the program’s Coordinator, Adama Dempster, right to education is very important because it is a human right and investments in the educational sector by government reduces poverty and reduces the unemployment curve as well as ensures better academic performances of students and raise literacy rate to higher.
He discussed the national vision and Ministry of Education (MOE) Mission and how it is to provide quality education for all and prepare future leaders who will be capable of handling the tasks of the nation building, protecting national heritage and enhancing the socio-economic growth and development of the state.
“Governments should exercise caution as to any advice offered by the international organizations, such as the World Bank or the international Finance Cooperation or from private companies supported by them on whether or not to relinquish their responsibility for education to private actors,” the Deputy Minister stated.
He explained that, “If such advice were sound, it would have been adopted by the wealthiest nations, instead the top-performing education system in the world in Asia, Europe and North America, are predominantly public systems.”

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