CDC Questions Gov’t Education Reform; Expresses Concern Over Tuition Increase at UL

 

CDC Release

The attention of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the Mighty Congress for Democratic Change (CDC), has been drawn to several issues of national concerns affecting our common patrimony. The CDC wishes to call national and international attention to several issues:

  1. THE UNNECESSARY INCREMENT IN FEES AT THE STATE OWNED UNIVERSITY OF LIBERIA
  2. UNPROFESSIONAL AND UNETHICAL COMMENTS AGAINST THE OPPOSITION COMMUNITY BY A COMMISSIONER OF GOVERNANCE COMMISSION, MR. YARSIA WEH-DORLIAE
  3. THE CONTINUOUS INVOLVEMENT OF DEFENSE MINISTER BROWNIE SAMUKAI IN POLITICAL ACTIVITIES AGAINST THE CODE OF CONDUCT FOR PUBLIC OFFICIALS AS WELL AS UNDERMINING HIS ROLE AS THE MOST SENIOR DEFENSE OFFICIAL OF LIBERIA.
  4. THE ABUSE OF AIRTIME BY THE STATE OWENED ELBC FOR THE PROMOTION OF THE CANDIDACY OF VICE PRESIDENT JOSEPH BOAKAI
  5. APPOINTMENT OF FORMER SENATOR ABEL MASSALLAY AS SPECIAL ENVOY OF THE CDC TO REACH OUT TO OTHER LIBERIANS AS WE MOVE TOWARDS 2017.
  6. PROPOSED PUBLIC PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP (PPP) BY THE MINISTRY OF EDUCATION IN THE EDUCATION SECTOR.

UNIVERSITY OF LIBERIA FEE INCREASE:This information is troubling and ill-timed as Liberian students at the UL are going through very serious financial challenges as many cannot even afford the current fee of LRD$175 per credit hour. Increasing school fees at the University at this time is a clear demonstration of insensitivity on the part of the UL Administration and the Government of Liberia which has for the last ten years been reneging on its constitutional responsibility of funding the University of Liberia.

If the Government of Liberia can afford to provide in excess of US$10 million annually, to the Liberia Maritime Authority, an entity whose functions are principally outsourced to the Liberia International Ship and Corporate Registry(LISCR), the GOL can definitely afford to provide the US$30 million the University of Liberia needs annually. If the Government can afford to Provide US$8 million to US$10 million to the Liberia Telecommunications Authority(LTA), an agency whose functions has no direct impact on the generation of Telecommunication Revenues( Telecom Revenues result from payment made directly by the Liberian People), the government can definitely afford to fully fund the University of Liberia annually.

An attempt to for the government to pass its responsibilities to its citizens is a violation of the public trust its constitutional fiduciary responsibility to the Liberian people.

We as a party categorically reject this irresponsible attempt to put Liberian students out school without a careful consideration of the various implications for society.

No country and no society has turned the corner in making genuine social progress without a massive and radical investment in education. Education is a strategic National Commodity which is inextricably linked to national development. It is about time Government of Liberia and the University authorities begin serious planning about regionalizing the University of Liberia in rural Liberia. The University of Liberia should devolved its operations in several counties around thematic areas such as AGRICULTURE, SCIENCE and ENGINEERING, NATURAL SCIENCES, TCHNOLOGY, ETC. It is an indisputable fact that Civilization over the centuries evolved around education centers. We need University of Liberia Education Centers in selected regions of Rural Liberia.

Simply put, the Government must invest more in education if Liberia will be competitive with its neighbors and the rest of the World.

GOVERNANCE COMMISSION’s OFFICIAL YARSIA WEH-DORLIAE COMMENTS AGAINST OPPOSITION POLITICAL PARTIES

It has come to the attention of the CDC that a Commissioner of the Governance Commission, Mr. Yarsia Weh-Dorliae made reckless and irresponsible comments against Liberian opposition parties charging that the “ the opposition was unserious by criticizing government……” Mr. Weh- Dorliae comments, as an official of the Governance Commission are irresponsible and undermine the vital role the GC should be playing in helping to refine the governance processes of Liberia. The comments of Mr. Weh-Dorliae undermines the initiatives of the GC in engaging political parties to foster the governance process of our Country. The Governance Commission does not need characters like Mr. Weh-Dorliae whose partisan political loyalties supersede the general noble objective of the Governance Commission.

The CDC will be reviewing its cooperation and collaboration with the Governance Commission until some clarifications are provided on the misconduct of one of its commissioners, Mr. Yarsia Weh-Dorliae.

DEFENSE MINISTER BROWNIE SAMUKAI’s ILLEGAL POLITICAL ACTIVITIES

In early January, the CDC informed the public about Defense Minister Brownie Samukai’s open and illegal involvement in political activities during the Lofa County By-Election. The Defense Minister led a convoy of military vehicles to Lofa to openly campaign for the Unity Party Candidate in the Lofa County District Two by Election. Few days ago, the Defense Minister Openly declare support for the Candidacy of Vice President Joseph Boakai. This open Declaration is a clear violation the Code of Conduct for Public Officials: Part V: SEC 5.1 a, b and c as well as Sec 5.1, 5.2, and 5.10. These acts of wanton abuse of public office by the Defense Minister undermine the confidence of political actors in the forthcoming electioneering processes. We call on the President to take action against the Defense Minister in the interest of peace and stability.

THE ABUSE OF AIRTIME BY THE STATE OWENED ELBC FOR THE PROMOTION OF THE CANDIDACY OF VICE PRESIDENT JOSEPH BOAKAI

Over the last several months, the Liberia Broadcasting System, LBS has become a campaign propaganda machinery for the candidacy of Vice President Joseph Boakai. This action of the LBS, especially its Deputy Director General for Broadcasting, Mr. Patrick Honnah, is a clear violation of the LBS Act and Article 15 D of the Liberian Constitution which charges the LBS as the public Broadcaster that should be impartial to grant equal access to all political parties and actors while propagating government programs.

When you tune in to the ELBC these days, all you hear especially from LBS Deputy DG Honnah is the promotion of VP presidential bid using the airtime of the LBS.

We call on the Director General of the LBS, Mr. Ledgerhood Rennie to exercise his supervisory duties to ensure the protection of the political neutrality of the STATE BROADCASTER AND STATE MEDIA.

PROPOSED PUBLIC PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP (PPP) BY THE MINISTRY OF EDUCATION IN THE EDUCATION SECTOR.

The CDC is also concerned about recent pronouncements by the Ministry of Education Authorities to the effect that they will be piloting a Public Private Partnership in the Education Sector. Indications are emerging that there were not sufficient consultations to evaluate the cost-benefit analysis of this proposed plan. The National Teachers Association of Liberia has expressed concerns on the lack of consultation for this initiative.

It can be recalled that the current education Minister, Mr George Werner, without adequate consultations with education stakeholders, abruptly ordered the closure of all schools in 2015 disrupting an ongoing academic calendar thereby creating tremendous hardship for parents, scholarship donors and school administrators. That action by Minister Werner threw out more than Twenty Thousands Twelfth Graders, majority of who have been out of school since the closure are waiting to sit the WAEC Examinations with the Current Twelfth Graders. Minister Werner must be reminded that Liberia Education Management cannot be a trial and error venture. The Education Minister is advised to proceed cautiously as this sector is a multi-Stakeholders’ Sector which requires extensive consultations on decisions that have far-reaching implications for Liberian children.

The CDC wrote the education Minister an official and elaborate communication in August 2015 requesting clarifications on several issues on his unilateral education reforms. The Minister did not reply but attempted to return the communication to the CDC- That attempt was very unprofessional of a public official.

APPOINTMENT OF FORMER SENATOR ABEL MASSALLAY AS SPECIAL ENVOY OF THE CDC TO REACH OUT TO OTHER LIBERIANS AS WE MOVE TOWARDS 2017

The National Chairman of the CDC, Nathaniel McGill has appointed Former Senator Abel Massallay of Grand Cape Mount County as Special Envoy of the CDC to reach out to Professional Liberians of all walks of life as a basis for collaborating with the CDC towards the 2017 general and presidential elections. The CDC welcomes all well-meaning Liberians to join the CDC as we move to democratically capture state power in 2017.

In conclusion, the CDC calls on all Liberians to remain calm as we continue engage the relevant stakeholders and actors in an effort to get genuine assurances for our collective well-being and the protection of Liberia’s recent democratic gains.

Signed

Janga A. Kowo

National Secretary General

FOR:

THE CONGRESS FOR DEMOCRATIC CHANGE (CDC)

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