MONROVIA – As more reactions continue to trail the controversial decision of the Minister of Education D. Ansu Sonii to nullify the directive from the National Commission for Higher Education (NCHE) which supports administrators of universities and colleges to hold PhDs, the University of Liberia Faculty Association (ULFA) has roundly condemned the Minister’s decision, terming it as counterproductive and see it as an attempt to derail progress been made in the pursuit of higher quality education in Liberia and deems it as being inimical to knowledge transfer at institutions of higher learning to compete with their peers in the sub region.
In a press statement issued by ULFA yesterday. Tuesday, October, 21, 2000 and signed by Eric S. Pattern, it said it can be recalled that the NCHE issued a Press Statement in Monrovia last week reminding Higher Education Institutions in Liberia about the requirement for Presidents and Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA) who are to serve in the aforementioned positions to possess an earned academic doctor of philosophy (PhD) degree.
“Though for a country as old as Liberia this pronouncement is belated, the ULFA leadership wholeheartedly supports the decision of the NCHE and see this as a step in the right direction in improving academic standards of the Country. ULFA is however taken aback by a recent alleged counter pronouncement by the Minister of Education suspending the NCHE’s previous pronouncement. The leadership of ULFA frowns on the counter statement to the NCHE pronouncement and sees it as an attempt to derail progress been made in the pursuit of higher quality education in Liberia and deems it as being inimical to knowledge transfer at institutions of higher learning to compete with their peers in the Sub-region”, the statement said.
The ULFA leadership also used the occasion to recall that about 18 months ago, all faculty members (Full and Part-time) were requested to submit their credentials to the office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA) for validation of what is referred to as “Credentials Audit”. Furthermore, the ULFA leadership on December of 2021 and January of 2022 reminded the VPAA office on the need to make public the official results of the audit exercises so as to rid the UL of “fake degrees”
“ULFA wonders why the Ministry of Education (MOE) authorities are yet to take a position on the proliferation of “fake” credentials in academia but instead would seek to throw a dagger heart of the beginning of a serious policy on higher education. Our leadership is also troubled that the action of the MOE could further damage the image of all qualified persons who have duly earned their degrees. ULFA therefore calls on the MOE to retract the statement and lend support to the NCHE process.
“ULFA also called all stakeholders, the national legislature, partners in education as well as faculty members to muster the courage in adverting this drastic and catastrophic nightmare that looms over the educational sector as we all to provide clarity and show proof of academic achievements so as to bring to a close these allegations that are detrimental to the survival of higher education in our modern dispensation.
“The leadership of ULFA therefore requests all of its members to remain calm and be assured that we will pursue this to its logical conclusion”, the statement concluded.