By Stephen G. Fellajuah
MONROVIA – A presidential aspirant in the pending October 10 presidential and legislative elections, Dr. George Parkinson Gonpu, has presented several books to the C. William Brumskine Elementary School to help equip the reading room of the school.
The Presidential aspirant, who made the presentation on Tuesday March 21, 2023, is the Vision Bearer of the African Democratic Movement of Liberia (ADML), one of the newest political institutions established in the country.
Presenting the books to the institution, Dr. Gonpu underscored the need to improve the education system of Liberia, asserting that the government’s free tuition in public universities and colleges was not carefully thought about.
The free tuition sounds good, he said, but added that it has not improved the quality of education and performance of the graduates, because the free tuition did not come as part of a package for the educational agenda of the system. .
The presidential hopeful further stressed on that when the government wants to promote free tuition, it has to also support educational facilities by equipping them and support educators by making sure they are well compensated while at the same time making the educational environment conducive for learning through provision of better campuses and buildings fully capacitated for the purpose of learning.
Dr. Gonpu, while distributing the books said they are intended for reading, Language proficiency, spelling and writing development skills for elementary school up to seventh grade students.
“Our children are smart and have huge potential. Education needs improvement taking into account to compensate our teachers well. We need to improve the education facilities. We need to bring in education supplies, especially technology. Each school should have an adequate computer system and facility”, he said.
The presidential aspirant went on to say the books are related to his education platform, which he believes can contribute to the transformation of the education sector of Liberia.
According to him, “If you educate our people – our children it will be easier to create more jobs. Through education, we develop and reform our curriculum to teach better moral standards, ethics so that we reduce incidence of corruption.
“Teaching children how to read properly is really the beginning of transforming the nation,” he added.
Dr. Gonpu who explained that he is interested in all levels of education however chose to focus on the young children for now, because he maintained these young elementary school children are the future of the nation.
“I do not consider myself a politician,” Mr. Gonpu noted, saying instead he considers himself a nation builder.
The ADML leader mentioned that he is looking afar in the future. He intimated that he is aware that these children do not vote, though, but added that caring for them would be reflective of where his heart lies.
The Liberian educator who is now emerging into politics emphasized that his heart is in the development and transformation as well as the happiness of all Liberians.
Relating to his background, he stated, “I am not new to education. I am an educator myself. I served this country as the Deputy Financial Minister for Budget. Also, I served as Budget Director,” he identified himself.
Dr. Gonpu said the community colleges in Liberia were founded and started under his leadership of the national budget. “These instructions, including the Nimba University College, Lofa and Bong Community Colleges, among others, were established under his stewardship.
“So by collaborating with the appropriate authorities, ensuring that these institutions were opened laid the foundation for improving the education system. Notwithstanding, where they are today proves there is still more needed for improvement.”
Meanwhile, he disclosed that the quantity of books that have been shipped in the country here is 200 copies, costing over US$3, 500. He added that he is trying to raise US$290,000 so that he can buy fifteen thousand copies for the 15 counties.
“So we want to distribute the 200 copies that have arrived in the country to various schools across the country. We are not giving books per student, we are choosing and giving them a few books to be used in their reading rooms.
“We just gave the C. William Brumskine Elementary school some pieces of these books. We have some more that will be distributed to other schools in Montserrado County; and thereafter we’ll move to schools in Bong, Nimba, Lofa among other counties”, he added.
Also he stated that his anti-corruption platform is really comprehensive. It is not only interested in jailing people but also interested in changing attitudes towards the state resources. So we align it with education to do that.
At the same time, he called on Liberians to be hopeful that they are in a critical time as the nation goes to elections in October this year. He encouraged everyone to get registered and to get involved in the whole process the country democracy, he concluded.
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