The Inquirer is a leading independent daily newspaper published in Liberia, based in Monrovia. It is privately owned with a "good reputation".

Sonii, Tokpa Differ On
Giving NCHE Ministry Status

Education Minister, Dao Ansu Sonii, and Bong County’s Senator, Henrique Tokpa, have differed on the creation of the Ministry of Higher Education.
Tokpa wants the National Commission on Higher Education (NCHE) to be given ministry status so as to be more effective and perhaps independent to monitor tertiary institutions in the country.
He said the education ministry is involved with too many educational activities nationwide and does not have the time to carry out monitoring and evaluation on both the physical structures and that of the human resources development.
Tokpa argued that because the ministry is occupied with a lot more, the education standard in the country continues to struggle for improvement therefore there is a need to ship some of its responsibilities to other sectors like the Commission.
But Sonii seems to have rejected the idea saying it is untimely at this time when the country is struggling to improve the economy as such will require huge budgetary support for sustenance.
He said it will not augur well for one sector like education to have two separate ministries but one responsibility therefore the need for the commission to remain such status cannot be overemphasized.
Both men made these comments yesterday on the Super Morning Show (SMS) on the state-owned radio station (ELBC) in Monrovia.
Before their formal annual break last month (September) the Senator is reported to have proffered to have introduced a bill in the upper house (senate) seeking the creation of the ministry of higher education.
The National Commission on Higher Education was established by an Act of the National Legislature in 1989 to formulate broad policy guidelines for the establishment of Institutions of Higher Education in Liberia.
It serves as the regulatory body for all Institutions offering degrees, and coordinates and serves as the principal liaison between Institutions of learning offering degrees in the country.
Additionally, the Commission facilitate the establishment of an autonomous National Accreditation Center responsible to accredit all higher institutions of learning in Liberia; Approve new and existing programmes of higher education for funding, after having satisfied itself of their needs for national development and assessing the institution’s ability to implement the program; and Review existing programmes at institutions of higher education with the aim of establishing priority programs of study based on national needs.
The Commission develops and or prescribe conditions under which all higher education institutions (public, private, and faith based) in the country can be opened, accredited and operated.
It formulated in collaboration with existing institutions policy guidelines for the establishment of new programs or higher education institutions in the country; advised the Government on the granting of Charters for the creation of institutions that would award degrees in the public, private and faith based sectors.
The Commission also support the development and implementation of training programs, symposium, workshops, and or dialogues designed by institutions within the sector to enhance national development; and promote formal linkages among all institutions within the sector to facilitate most effective use of the experiences, equipment, expertize and encourage international linkages to enhance collaboration in research and knowledge sharing.
It serve as the principal liaison between higher education institutions and the government including recommending higher education institutions or programs of higher education for funding; and work with agencies of government, faith based institutions and the private sector to compile data on manpower needs of the country that would enable higher education institutions design programs and guide the academic choices of their students.
The Education Ministry is to provide quality education for all and prepare future leaders who are capable of handling the task of nation building, protecting our national heritage and enhancing the socio-economic growth and development for the sustenance of the Liberian state.
It is a government agency performing the function of State management of preschool education, general education, intermediate pedagogical education, college-level pedagogical education, higher education and other educational institutions regarding: educational goals, programmes saying, “Show the light, the people will find the way.”

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