Over PSL Marginalization, DEO Expresses Concern

Some teachers listening attentively to a presentation at the workshop in Goba Town

The District Education Officer (DEO) in Todee District, Montserrado County, Edward A. Johnson has expressed serious concern about the marginalization of County Education Officers (CEOs) and District Education Officers (DEOs) by the Partnership Schools for Liberia (PSL) commissioned by the Ministry of Education.

According to a press release, the District Education Officer made the disclosure on Saturday, September 9, 2017 in Goba Town, Todee District at a one-day workshop. The Goba town workshop brought together 18 teachers and the Parents Teachers Association in the Todee and Careysburg Districts.

He further underscored the need for they (County Education Officers) and the NTAL to work together because “we are all working together to see how best our interest can be fostered, how best our interest can go through because we have been marginalized”.

Teachers in a group discussion at the workshop

In 2016, the Government of Liberia announced its intention to outsource its primary and pre-primary education system to a US-base for-profit corporate actor, Bridge International Academies (BIA).

There was considerable opposition to the unprecedented move. As a result, the Government conceived a one-year pilot programme, Partnership Schools for Liberia (PSL), where eight actors would operate 93 schools.

Under the arrangement/Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), the County Education Officers and the District Education officers have no dealing with schools under the PSL.

Mr. Johnson earlier commended the NTAL for the workshop to campaign against the PSL. “We DEOs and CEOs have been marginalized, we do not know what is happening and so we are ready to work with the NTAL to find an amicable solution to the problem”, the Todee District Education Officer emphasized.

Some participants including Todee DEO (Mr. Johnson 2nd L-R on the first roll) at the workshop in Todee, Montserrado County

The Todee District Education Officer said they have received couple of communications on this PSL, amongst them are letters asking the County and District Education Officers to transfer teachers from the Partnership Schools for Liberia. “Our teacher’s interest is involved including the DEO”. He said among the communications in his possession is a letter from a school within his district indicating that the partnership program wants to take them off the job. “As I speak to you there is a school called Fassell, teachers wrote that this partnership schools program wants to take them out of job. They want to take them from the payroll, so we have serious problem with this issue”.

Also speaking at the workshop, the District PTA Focus Person Pastor Joseph P. Seward called on the NTAL and its partners not to allow the fight against PSL to die. As a legal institution “if you see something affecting the nation it means you need to give your voice towards this and to stand very, very strong”.

The PTA Focus Person assured the NTAL of their support in the fight against the PSL. “Keep on pressing on until we hear positive result”, Pastor Seward said.

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About Cholo Brooks 14418 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.