COEDEL Concludes Symposium -Reminds Gov’t to Educate Its Citizens

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By: Stephen G. Fellajuah

The Consortium of Education Defenders of Liberia (COEDEL) has concluded a 3-day brainstorming conference with stakeholders of the education sector drawn from across Liberia. The conference reaffirms their position demanding the Ministry of Education to halt the outsourcing of Liberian public School.

The 3-day conference held over the weekend brought together legal experts on education, in academia, human right defenders and the media, and was focused on the reactivating as well as reaffirming their ultimatum on December 15, 2020.

The conference, the educational stakeholders showcased violations of the rights of the school kids and parents of Liberia in the event that the plan of Government’s privatizing and commercializing of the Liberian schools work.

COEDEL maintained that every responsible Government has the mandate to provide quality and affordable education to its citizens, especially in line with the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG #4), Chapter #4 on the education reform.

Citing Article VI of the Liberian Constitution as their reliance to hold the Government accountable against outsourcing of public schools, COEDELL stated that the government should respect the organic law of the country and other international protocols to which the government is signatory,  and should therefore stop the outsourcing of Liberian education.

Outsourcing Liberian education to private providers is, to the contrary of the pretense of developing the Liberian educational system, doing nothing to improve the system.

The group said, providers say they are not responsible to renovate schools and improved learning environments, and have allowed students to sit under deplorable structures and class rooms.

“Liberia is the only country in the sub-region promoting the commercialization of public education which is in gross violation of existing Liberian laws and other international instruments,” COEDEL asserted, saying “We are not negotiating, we are demanding the Government to stop.”

The Consortium of Education Defenders of Liberia accentuated at the end of stakeholders conference, “We cannot criminate learning in our public schools. Public education is the responsibility of the Government.”

COEDEL stated that currently, there is no one student using computer or tablet under the Bridge International Academies (BIA) sponsorship as promised under the agreement with government for the outsourcing of schools.

The Consortium furthered stated that lessons taught by the Bridge International Academies are foreign and not in conformity with Liberian education system.

The group reiterated their 90-day ultimatum given the Government of Liberia to respond to their discontentment against outsourcing Liberian schools if they should not take other actions aimed at protecting the system.

Outsourcing the educational system speaks to privatizing and commercializing pre-grade and elementary schools in the country to be run by private providers.

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