Since the Liberian Government in 2016 announced its intention to outsource its primary and pre-primary education system to a US based for-profit actor, the Bridge International Academies around the country, there has been a considerable opposition to this unprecedented move.
Stakeholders of the Liberian educational system including the National Teachers Association of Liberia have all reacted to the establishment of the Partnership Schools for Liberia or PSL, noting that the country’s educational system should be managed my its own citizens instead.
Despite efforts by the NTAL to reject this, hundreds of Liberian teachers who were hired to teach at over 200 Bridge International Academies (BIA) around the country with approximately 27,000 students under the supervision of the Partnership Schools for Liberia (PSL), dozens of teachers of the BIA under the banner ‘Concern Bridge Partnership School for Liberia’ have written the Ministry of Education expressing their displeasure over the operation of the PSL.
In their letter dated August 4th, 2017 addressed to the Deputy Minister of Education for Instruction, Romell Horton said, “We feel uncomfortable working with the partnership school (Bridge) due to many issues that we are faced with on a daily basis during our work time are:
1.“Bridge office are persistently threatening our teachers who are on government payroll of their removal
- Tarnishing the reputation of teachers by serving them warning letters even if that teacher sent in an excuse.
- The extension of teachers staying with Bridge without signing or agreeing to a new contract.
- Bridge Partnership are earning the same salary with no compensation as other government public school teachers and are staying in school for eight (8) working hours from 7am to 330pm daily.
The concern Bridge International Academies teachers letter to the Education Ministry signed by Miatta Finnie Sorzor, Secretary of the group and approved by Moses Yarkpazuah, President of the group also accused the Bridge International Academies of “Starving students in school for eight (8) hours without feeding, and refusing to accommodate teachers to stay active and acquire their added knowledge.” Concluding, the teachers in the letter also noted that “Relocating Bridge teachers to their original counties, giving teachers their back pay and placing supplementary teachers on the Ministry of Education (MOE) regular payroll,” the letter to the Minister concluded.