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MoE to Introduce Mobile Money Pay System for Teachers in Rural Liberia

MONROVIA: The Director of Communication at the Ministry of Education (MOE), Mr. Maxim Bleetan has disclosed that the Ministry will introduce mobile money pay system for teachers in the rural parts of the country. Mobile Money is a money transfer system that is being run by Lonestar/MTN.

The MoE’s spokesman said the introduction of the mobile money pay system will prevent teachers and other employees of the MoE in the rural parts of Liberia from abandoning their classes and other duties for several weeks, in order to receive their salaries. Mr. Bleetan spoke in an interview with The Independent newspaper last Thursday, July 11, 2013 at his office on Broad Street.

 For over twelve years, teachers working in villages and towns throughout   the fifteen counties have found it difficult to receive their salaries in their various places of assignment, causing them to travel for long distances to reach the capital city of the counties to take pay; thus, leaving the students vulnerable for the period of time they will be away for.

According to Mr. Bleetan, this situation has caused serious embarrassment for the government and thereby causing the students and parents in those parts of the country to develop little interest in education and subsequently dropping out of school.

He stated further that the MOE is giving none fully qualified teachers working within the ministry’s school system the chance to upgrade their teaching skills to be able to cope with future challenges.

He noted that having advanced themselves as teachers, they will be able to adequately teach the students the required lessons prescribed by the MOE and enable Liberian students be on par with other African nations.

Mr. Bleetan also revealed that in the past, authorities of the Ministry of Education negotiated with the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) to open branches in the fifteen counties to ease the problem of cashing teachers and other civil servants salaries checks, preventing them from leaving their jobs for several weeks but the arrangement was not adhered to by the Central Bank.

When the MOE director of communication was questioned on the misuse of public school facilities by communities’ members in the various counties, Mr. Bleetan told this paper that each public school has a board that is responsible to take care of the school properties and maintain them. He also said that the county school board has the authority to monitor the daily attendance of public schools teachers in each county and be able to inform the proper authorities about those teachers who are irregular at job as well as those who are not going to work at all. “This will help authorities at the ministry of education to take appropriate action to avoid the continuous absence of teachers in the classes,” he said.

While explaining some duties of the county school board, Mr. Bleetan also mentioned that the District Education Officers (DEOs) are there to inspect the academic lesson plans of public school teachers to make sure that they are teaching in line with the curriculum.
“To make sure that the education system in our country is up to task, it takes time,” says Mr. Bleetan.

According to him, after twenty years of broken education system, it will take time to repair the system. He also stated that presently the Ministry of Education has deployed seventy-five field officers in the fifteen counties to carry on supervision of public schools.

He added that in order to solve some of the many problems the MOE is faced with; it requires the collective efforts which will include the communities and parents; while the students themselves need to identify and make known some of the problems to MOE authorities, to enable the authorities to upgrade the education system in Liberia.

According to Mr. Bleetan the ministry of education is now working with different education partners to put a proper system in place that will reduce the problems beginning the 2013/2014 academic school year.


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