World Bank Liberia Country Manager Larisa Leshchenko says the development of tertiary education is critical to the growth and development of the country. She was speaking on Thursday, November, 10, when she paid a courtesy call on the President of the University of Liberia (UL), Dr. Emmet Dennis.
Ms. Leshchenko said that advanced tertiary education development will eventually filter down to the primary and secondary educational levels, noting that, “for example, once teachers are properly trained at the higher educational level, they will be well equipped to provide quality services in the classrooms.”
She used the occasion to inform the UL President that the Bank has started the process of developing its new Country Partnership Framework (CPF). The CPF will guide the Bank’s engagement with Liberia over the next 3-5 years. On the educational sector, Ms. Leshchenko noted that the Bank plans to reach out to higher institutions of learning, including the University of Liberia get inputs through the consultations process. These inputs will be important to the development of the CPF, which will assist the Bank identify constraints to poverty reduction, she said.
Country Manager Leshchenko then informed Dr. Dennis that the World Bank is working on a plan to deploy its visiting professional staff to provide lectures at the UL. She added that this initiative will help with capacity development of students and lecturers of the UL.
President Dennis thanked the Country Manager for the visit and commended the Bank for its support towards the development of the University. He cited the Bank supported 3-year project: Strengthening the Accountancy Program at the University of Liberia. He pledged to work with the World Bank in the development of Tertiary Education in Liberia. He stressed that a qualified faculty is essential for quality Tertiary Education.
The UL President briefed Madam Leshchenko on the operations of the University and highlighted progress and challenges being faced by the institution. Dr. Dennis said the University currently has an enrollment of 22,000 students, though its carrying capacity is 15,000.
Attending the meeting were Professor Geegbae Geegbae, University of Liberia Vice President for Institutional Development, Saidu Dani Goje, Public Financial Management Specialist at the World Bank and Michael Sahr, World Bank Communications Specialist.