Big Awards Up For Grab

MONROVIA-As part of efforts to transform the Liberian education sector, the Ministry of Education in collaboration with partners has announced a new innovative motivational package through annual awards of Best Teachers and School Principals (administrators) in Liberia.

This groundbreaking educational program, co-named: the Liberia National Educators’ Awards Program (LINEAP) is Liberia’s first-ever national teachers’ awards initiative to be introduced in the country under the able leadership of Prof. D. Ansu Sonii, Sr.

Making the announcement at a news conference in the presence of key stakeholders, including the National Principals and Teachers Associations, Liberian National Student Union (LINSU) and the Federation of Liberian Youth (FLY), among others, Acting Education Minister, Mr. Latim Da-Thong, expressed great delight over the introduction of the new program to recognize and reward teachers and school administrators across Liberia.

Mr. Da-Thong observed, “Today is a remarkable day for our education system! It is a very significant day for the sector. We may build beautiful schools, put in good chairs, set up management teams, provide school supplies, etc. but without highly motivated and committed teachers, we cannot achieve the desired student learning outcomes we expect.” For this reason, the Government of Liberia through MOE and partners is not only very committed to recognizing and motivating teachers, but also professionalizing the teaching workforce to ensure continuous improvement in quality education service delivery.

Speaking further, the Acting Education Minister indicated that the new awards program will recognize and reward excellent teaching and outstanding contributions of teachers and school administrators to the teaching profession in Liberia. “The Ministry and partners see this endeavor as a significant step in recognizing, appreciating and motivating teachers and administrators to remain devoted to the teaching profession. Our vision is to create an enabling environment for motivated, committed, dedicated, and professional teachers and school administrators to facilitate the holistic development of learners in Liberia,” he added.

Commenting on the prizes for award winners, Mr. Da-Thong announced that a total of 32 awards will be given this year; 15 for County Best Teachers and 15 for County Best School Principals, respectively. County-level winners will compete for the grand prizes: Presidential

National Best Teacher Award and Education Minister’s National Best Principal Award, respectively.

The Presidential National Best Teacher will receive one million Liberian dollars and a modern house, offered by Millennium Construction Inc., while the Education Minister’s National Best School Principal will receive 300,000 Liberian dollars. County-level winners will walk away with 100,000 and 75,000 Liberian dollars each for teachers and principals, respectively.

The Acting Education Minister thanked the Liberian Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI), which has made its initial financial contribution of $5,000 USD, Millennium Construction, Inc. that has committed a modern house for the National Best Teacher and the Liberia Institute for Promotion of Academic Excellence (LIPACE) for website development and maintenance.

Mr., Da-Thong encouraged all stakeholders to support and take ownership of this awards program. He called on all well-meaning individuals, partners, and institutions, especially corporate entities to support the annual teachers’ awards initiative in cash or kind.

The Ministry of Education acting boss also extended heartfelt gratitude to President George Manneh Weah for the explicit confidence and support being given to the Ministry to transform the education system, noting we will continue to do everything possible to bring positive change to the education sector.

Speaking on behalf of the Chairperson of the Independent Awards Committee, Dr. Cecelia Cassell, the President of the National Association of Liberian School Principals and Co-Chair of the Committee, Dr. Benjamin Wehye said the awards program is open to all current teachers in Liberia (public, private, faith-based, and community) with demonstrable evidence of spending at least 10 hours per week teaching children face-to-face over the past two years and plan to remain in the teaching profession for the next two years.

Dr. Wehye assured me that the program will be very fair, competitive, and merit-based. The Liberian educator called on all teachers and school principals to take advantage of this golden opportunity as the application process opened on March 1, 2022 and ends on March 31, 2022.

The awards are expected to be presented on August 24, 2022.

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