LIBERIA: As Mass Students Protest Continues, INCHR Wants Probe Into PPP

Liberian Leader, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
Liberian Leader, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

The Independent National Commission on Human Rights (INCHR) has called on the Government of Liberia to commission an independent inquiry into the ciricumstances leading to demonstrations from students and teachers across the country, while also examining the consitutionality of the Public Private Partnership (PPP) education reform policy that is being proffered by the Minister of Education.

Of recent, teachers and students in the country have been demonstrating against the Ministry of Education over the Public Private partnership in the education system and other pertinent issues they said grossly affecting the system.

In press release, the INCHR said there was a need to examine the PPP, which is the basis for the alleged demonstrations across the country.

“The work of the independent panel must also consider demands made by the public school teachers and determine how future propositions from duty bearers versus the interest of target audience can be harmoniously reconciled within the context of law and the best interest of the nation,” INCHR said in a release.

The Independent National Commission on Human Rights noted that the best way to institute public service policy reform is through inclusive consultations.

“However, the proposed public private partnership actions appear uncoordinated, fragmented and fraught with contradictions to liberia’s education framework. This has led to increased in the Ministry of Education and the lack of national ownership of the reforms,” the commission added.

The commission further indicated that the recent PPP measures taken by the Ministry of Education to stregethen the education system of liberia from ‘mess to best’ must also be cognizant of the moral and ethical transgression of the policy against the poor and weak in the society who live below the poverty line.

The human rights’ entity wants the Liberian Government to therefore return to the drawing board to review such policy option in the hope of restoring confidence and revamping the education sector.

“Review all actions and objectives, if any, of the PPP proposed by the Minister of Education and convene a national policy framework dialogue that is inclusive of all education stakeholders. Prioritize and clearly state how and what public education workers and school pupils stand to benefit. Those are the ones at the forefront of this mess to best education reform fight and continue to complain of neglect thus victimizing the vast populace,” the group recommeded further.

INCHR disclosed that it is concern about the reports of waves of students and teachers street demonstrations in KaKata and Harbel, Margibi County.

It says these waves of demonstrations and the inevitable incapacity of police and county officials to act in ways that restore civility to the county is an omission to protect and tantamount to the violation of individual and collective rights of the citizens and residents of Liberia.

The human rights arm urged that Liberia must remain a country that supports and promotes the fundamental principles of the inalienability of human rights which also inclucate the rights to participation in decisions that affect lives.

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About Cholo Brooks 13173 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.