Transcending Liberia’s messy educational system status to a world-class status is attainable if the most urgent challenges and solutions are given a look at.
The inability of teachers to be academically accountable and their performances being regularly evaluated has been a significant factor in the degradation of the educational sector.
Teachers are to be weekly checked as per the notes giving to the students and a feedback from the students to know how well the students have understood the lessons through appropriate methods used by the teacher.
The interview process for the recruitment of teachers does not suffice that the teachers have a mastery of the subject that they are recruited to teach, as a result, every school is to make sure there is a regular monthly performance evaluation by the department chair or Vice principal for instruction to ensure academic performance by the students. A regular evaluation questionnaire of the teacher’s performance should be done by unidentified students; predicated upon this, the teacher can be reprimanded, asked to put in more time, or his/her contract terminated if there is no improvement achieved.
Currently, unethical practices have greatly increased in Liberian schools ranging from primary to post-graduate institutions. Bribery, inappropriate sexual relationships with students, recess, tips, appreciation, gifts and all kind gestures are given to a teacher in an exchange for academic favors.
These academic vices are gradually becoming legitimate because these academic reprobates go unpunished and are condoned by administrators because they are either involved or defenseless in their quest against academic corruption.
Both Teachers and Students are to be made aware of the judicial implications of such acts. If there is none, there should be a few created as frequent as the academic irregularities are recognized. School administrators are to put in measures that will not facilitate malpractices, Such as the removal of make-up fees, pamphlet sales, flexibility fees, appreciation of teachers and many more measures that will aid against creating avenues for academic corruption.
Students should be recruited as ambassadors to be the eyes and ears of the administration for their respective classes in an attempt to combat all unethical activities between teachers and students. Reported cases should be thoroughly investigated and corresponding punishment is levied on convicted teachers and even Students; who are to also be made aware of the corresponding penalty for their unlawful involvement in unethical academic practices.
Punishment of such should range from termination of contracts, or suspension without pay for teachers, while suspension with hard labor and mandatory counseling classes attendance or expulsion for students based on the gravity of the situation. Teachers with a terminated contract from a school for academic malpractices will be officially suspended by the ministry for a specific period of time and all schools will be mandated not to recruit these suspended teachers until the time of suspension is served, refunds are made if applicable, a letter of apology is addressed to the offended institution and a clearance to resume activities in the profession is awarded from the Ministry of Education. With such strict rules and tedious protocol, teachers and generally all educators will limit, if possible stop all unethical activities in our schools.
A student should be given merit for their academic performance; while underperforming students should be deprived of a few schools related social activities and events as a means to reprimand their underperformance. With the ministry of Education being the umbrella organization for all Liberian schools; hence being clothed with such authority, the suspension of all sporting and social activities in schools with predominant failures, mandatory and compulsory extra classes will be conducted for underperforming and delinquent students until improvements are attained.
Students with good academic performance will be fairly awarded periodically at the level of their schools, districts, counties and the national level for the high academic performances. While a semester and annual bequeathing of student exchange programs’ scholarships, financial aids, and possibly international or national tertiary education scholarships for prospective high school graduates in an attempt to motivate fellow students to perform scholastically.
Schools will be pled with to separate students of different caliber and academic status of the same class into categories where more mature or refined teachers will be assigned to underperforming students while average teachers will be assigned to the self-sufficient and exceptional students as to achieve a balance of performance.
An integral batch team will be assigned regionally to assist the “District Education Officers” and “County Education Officers” for proper assessment and evaluation of schools’ performance. Predicated upon these unbiased reports got from schools they were assigned to, the ministry will mandate changes of staffs, mandate the availability of certain facilities in a given period of time or operational license be revoked and fines are imposed on supposed schools.
Removal, Suspensions or sanctions of certain subsidies be applied on the schools that contravene the rules and regulations of the Liberian Educational System. Students’ progress and promotion will be closely monitored by the assigned team to ensure against the act of students promoting themselves by changing their names and ‘jumping’ from one institution to the other.