Education Minister, D. Ansu Sonii has said the Liberian government will need a support of US$1 Billion intended to address the age-old problem of lack of access to quality education across the country.
The fund, minister Sonii maintained would ensure the upgrading of schools, training teachers as well as the provision of resources which include textbooks, something said if done, Liberians will be better equipped to compete in the global economy, reduce poverty, and improve their standard of living.
It can be recalled that since the end of the 14 years of civil unrest that led to the death and displaying of thousands of Liberians, the country’s educational system is still struggling to overcome the issue of providing quality education, as many schools lack basic resources, trained teachers, and proper facilities.
But speaking at the ongoing joint education sector review in Ganta City, Nimba County, the country’s Education Minister emphatically stressed that malice can be solved with US$1 billion in funding, which noted would go a long way in providing educational programs that prepare students to compete in the 21st century.
Additionally, this year’s Joint Education Sector Review is held under the theme, “Transforming Education for National Development and Growth with the objectives of achieving milestones in the social contract through the provision of quality, relevant, inclusive, and gender-responsive education; transforming education to achieve national development growth”.
Furthermore, at the event, he and stakeholders in the education sector acknowledged that without a strong education system, Liberians would be left behind in an increasingly competitive global economy — hence the priority of revamping the sector.
Minister Sonii explained that that at this point, the country cannot afford to let future generations of Liberians fall behind and as such; investment is needed so that the younger generation can compete with the best in the world.
“The money is intended to address education at the regional and county levels. We want to make quality education available to everybody, regardless of economic status, religion, and other factors.
“It will be invested to ensure equal and inclusive access to quality education; the development of skills that meet the demand of the labor market; and the upgrade of school infrastructure as a means of creating a conducive learning environment,” the minister asserted.
For her part, Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor, in her opening remarks at the program, said the Liberia educational sector needs substantial investments, and even half of the $1 billion requested would make a significant impact.
“I believe if we are able to collect the money we need with the support of the President, the legislators, and the partners to raise the money, and even if we can jump-start half of it, we will go very far,” Taylor said.