The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) will continue to strengthen the capacity of civil society organizations to advocate for affordable and quality education across learning institutions in Liberia, according to education specialist Mardea Nyumah.
During the “More4Education” film festival in Monrovia on Wednesday, Nyumah said such advocacy aims to improve the teaching and learning environment, which has been widely dubbed ‘a messy’ system.
The More4Education films provide an insight for a minimum 20 percent increment in the national budget of the Ministry of Education by 2020, with the view that such move will significantly patch up the basic loopholes identified in the education sector of the country.
The More4Education campaign, being championed by USAID-supported Liberia Accountability and Voice Initiative (LAVI) and other sub-implementers, among other things, seeks to ensure the implementation of Liberia Education Reform Act of 2011, whose overall intent is to overhaul the system.
LAVI launched the project June 2018 to support coalitions and advocacy groups for the improvement of the learning system in the country.
The Liberia News Agency reporter who attended the screening of the different films on Wednesday says the movies portray major challenges facing the school system such as the lack of adequate or no supervision, monitoring and evaluation of school administrators and instructors.
One film shows a teacher dressed recklessly and standing before pupils to administer lesson, but moral philosophy indicates that students create less interest in attending classes due to such attitudes on the part of people expected to mould their minds in various ways.
Sexual exploitation and abuse of students and sale of grades by teachers were also discouraged in another of the films, screened in the presence of civil society actors and other relevant partners.
The pro-education films, Nyumah further stated, reflect the realities of situations obtaining in Liberia and many other parts of the world today, relative to things that go on in the learning environments.
“By watching these films will make Liberians understand that more needs to be done to increase the influence of citizens and the media in the governance of public goods and services, and help build more effective, accountable, and inclusive governance in Liberia,” she added.
As she called for a wider syndication of the films, the USAID-Liberia education specialist indicated that the plays could positively shape the discourse about education when stakeholders work collectively to make it better.