Teachers must be given right training to deliver quality education – Minister

first_imgWorld Teachers’ DayEducation Minister, Dr Rupert Roopnaraine said teachers must be given the right training in content, methodology and outlook in order to deliver quality education to children.If the education system fails, nothing else is likely to succeed and, therefore, if teachers fail, then the system would inevitably crumble also, the Minister noted.Education Minister,Dr Rupert RoopnaraineActing Chief Education Officer Marcel Hutson“It is, therefore, imperative that teachers succeed, since they are the very foundation of the education system,” he said, noting that it was important to identify the right calibre of persons to be teachers.“They must be given the right training in content, methodology and outlook. To that must be added the correct environment and the requisite terms and conditions of service,” he expounded, highlighting that those imperatives together comprise the complete approach to ensuring that the teachers deliver quality education.“It is to the provision of the aforementioned that the Government commit, within its means, in its quest to provide quality education and its effort to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to which it has committed,” he said.In 1994, UNESCO proclaimed October 5 to be World Teachers’ Day, celebrating the great step made for teachers on October 5, 1966, when a special intergovernmental conference convened by UNESCO in Paris adopted the UNESCO/ILO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers, in cooperation with the ILO.This recommendation sets forth the rights and responsibilities of teachers, as well as international standards for their initial preparation and further education, recruitment, employment, teaching and learning conditions. Since its adoption, the recommendation has been considered an important set of guidelines to promote teachers’ status in the interest of quality education.Roopnaraine stated that the 2016 Teachers’ Day is the first World Teachers’ Day to be celebrated within the new Global Education 2030 Agenda adopted by the world community one year ago.He stated that this year’s theme, “Valuing Teachers, Improving their Status”, embodies the fundamental principles of the 50-year-old Recommendation, while shining a light on the need to support teachers as reflected in the agenda’s SDGs.A specific education goal, SDG4, pledges to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”; therefore, Roopnaraine stated teachers were not only pivotal to the right to education, they were key to achieving the targets set out in SDG4.He added that this approach recognised that each child mattered and that the involvement of all of the stakeholders was also an imperative for the delivery of quality education.“Also in the pipeline are the curriculum review process and the report of the Commission of Inquiry into the education system, both of which will inform the revision of the education sector’s strategic plan,” he said.The Minister stated that the Government has recommitted itself to themaintenance of a professional teaching service that can assure the nation of quality education, the production of rounded and patriotic citizens and ultimately, the development of society.Acting Chief Education Officer Marcel Hutson, in his remarks, stated thatteachers spend a significant amount of time with their students and fill gaps left by temporarily or permanently absent parents, often times performing critical roles as counsellors and confidants.“In many cases, you functioned as conveyors of non-academic (life) skills such as trust, respect, accountability and conflict resolution, all of which contribute to the creation of well-rounded students who will positively impact all spheres of society,” he said.last_img read more

Transparency, Accountability, Others Top NGO Coalition Strategic Dialogue

first_imgParticipants along with facilitators posed after the eventA non-governmental organization called National Coalition of Liberia (NCL) has elevated its strategic plan dialogue towards accountability, competence and transparency as a new management assumes office.NCL is a conglomeration of local NGOs that are working with a similar vision geared towards elevating the livelihood of people in poverty and creating a level playing field between government, concession companies and locals.In an effort to ensure that its objectives are realized, the NCL held a five-day retreat, which came to an end over the weekend at the entity’s resource center in Dwazon, Margibi County. It included the preparation of a five-year strategic plan intended to re-engage collaborating actors, to enhance the proper use of natural resources.NCL’s chairperson of management team Samuel Kwennah told the Daily Observer that the round-table dialogue  focuses not only on conflict resolution in the management of natural resources, but also seeks to strengthen  peaceful coexistence among member NGOs within the coalition.“NCL is critical to good governance. As such, we are interested in seeing that there is  proper management of natural resource sectors, which include forests,” Mr. Kwennah said.He added that there is impact from his coalition’s engagements with communities, concession companies, and the government.“Through our advocacy in 2015, 24 communities benefited from concession companies that failed to undertake their social corporate responsibilities; government also paid over US$1million to the natural resource governance trustee board for some development in the affected areas,” he said.“With the funds generated from government and companies by the trustee board, which is a part of NCL, a vocational center was built in Yarpah Town, River Cess County,” he said.Kwennah further said that an elementary school was built in Zoegar Bayo Town, in Grand Bassa County, while two clinics were built in River Gee County.“In Grand Gedeh County, we have succeeded in establishing a guesthouse and two elementary schools were built from the same advocacy as in Lofa,” he said.Kwennah is the program manager for the extractive industry and human rights program of Save My Future Foundation (SAMFU), which is a member NGO to the NCL.He said the formation of NCL was predicated upon a survey, which showed that conflicts, including the civil war that erupted over the years, came as a result of disenchantment over the poor management of natural resources.Mina Beyan, program director of Social Entrepreneurs for Sustainable Development (SESDev), expressed how impressed she was with the level of collaboration among the NCL member organizations, and hoped more success stories can be told in the near future.She added that her NGO also provides legal support to local communities in Grand Kru, Sinoe, and a few other counties in the southeast. “Knowing that we are interested in engendering change, we advocate for the government to push concession companies to live up to their commitments. The people need good roads to transport their farm produce to markets, schools to educate their children, clinics for proper medical care and other social benefits necessary for elevating their living standards,” she said.“Although there are laws giving more leverage to County Legislative Caucuses to decide on what kind of development is carried out in their constituencies, we think there is a need for the local people to have more say in what they want; be it school, clinic or road,” Beyan said.A facilitator at Community Development Initiative (CDI) Nettie Diagor said more awareness and support are needed to help save forests and mangrove swamps from degradation.“People think that mangrove swamps are wastelands and so they throw trash in them and abuse them in so many other different ways,” Diagor said. “In Grand Cape Mount where we presently work, 13 communities fell trees for charcoal burning and constant and excessive fishing at Lake Piso are on the rise.”She noted that there is no need, however, to blame the residents involved in degrading forests by felling trees and extracting lots of fish from Lake Piso, because those activities are serving as their means of survival.“This is why CDI is now helping them do sustainable farming [small farms for food and little cash earning for family needs]. We are in collaboration with REDD+ of the Forestry Development Authority (FDA), helping them with tools to work and educating them also on how they should make their vegetable beds for a fruitful harvest,” she said.The strategic plan dialogue workshop, which was facilitated by a team of experts in natural resource management, included Sarah Thomas from the University of Wolverhampton, United Kingdom.NCL is composed of 20 CSOs (Civil Society Organizations) and was formed in 2003 at the Accra Peace Accord (CPA) that brought an end to the protracted civil war and shared power among the warring factions in the transitional government.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

L.A. mayor’s school-reform plan should be embraced by communities

first_imgThere are three Los Angeles Unified School District high schools whose parents and staffs are voting today on whether their campuses should fall under the control of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s office. And there are three big reasons why they should vote yes. The first is the promise of greatly needed reforms. LAUSD traditionally governs from the top down and usually fails, while under the mayor’s plan decision-making power would go down to the school level with teachers, administrators and parents getting the authority – and the accountability. Villaraigosa’s education office also plans to break massive campuses into smaller, more personal learning communities, to bring in new technology and to make schools cleaner, healthier and safer places to learn. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhicker: Clemson demonstrates that it’s tough to knock out the champThe second reason stakeholders at Roosevelt, Santee and Jordan high schools should vote yes is, quite frankly, money. Villaraigosa’s political future is directly tied to how well these schools perform under his leadership. To that end, he has raised $50 million for their use, with more to come. Any school that joins the mayor’s program will be due for a steady infusion of cash that could meet a variety of severe needs. Money isn’t everything in education, but among under-served schools lacking in the basics, it can make a big difference. But the third, and most important, reason these voters should vote yes is because the alternative – more of the same – is unthinkable. The LAUSD has had decades to turn these schools around. It hasn’t. What’s more, it’s written them off, consigning them to failure, and showing little interest and even less creativity or courage about what needs to be done to save a troubled campus. Any parents or school staffers who vote no today will be turning down the uncertainty that comes with change for the certainty of failure. And that hardly seems like a worthwhile trade-off. There are no guarantees that the reforms Villaraigosa proposes will work, but it is certain that the current system doesn’t. The communities voting today, which have some of the worst schools in a district that has many of the lowest performing schools in the state and nation, have nothing to lose by trying something different. And they have everything to gain. They stand to gain real independence from a suffocating bureaucracy. They stand to gain a new paradigm in education, with true local control, and education that is child-centered. They stand to gain the unleashing of innovative forces that the LAUSD has squelched for decades. Most of all, they stand to get schools they can be proud of, and educations that prepare their children for a lifetime. As Villaraigosa has put it, “If you think the status quo is working, then the partnership’s not for you. But I think our schools can do better.” And that should be reason alone to vote yes.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more