Education Minister Disagrees With Senator Tokpa On Minister of Higher Education Decision

By Washington Tumay Watson –

MONROVIA-Long running call by Bong County Senator Henrique Tokpa for the creation of a Ministry of Higher Education, alongside the Ministry of Education, faces uphill battle as the Minister of Education has expressed strong opposition to such call.

Senator Tokpa sometimes ago submitted a bill for the creation of a Ministry of Higher Education, an instrument which is presently in the committee room.

Such ministry if created, Senator  Tokpa told reporters recently will  have robust oversight  on growing universities  and community  colleges across  the country.

Senator Tokpa, a one time Acting Deputy Minister of Education and President of Cuttington University, disclosed his call grows out of his experience serving in these capacities.

The establishment of  the Association of Universities  which he said was his making  as well as  involvement  in the management of higher education in country are key components that oiled the crafting  of  the bill, he maintained.

After he reviewing the function of the Ministry of Education, according to him, he realized  the need  to split the functions  of the Ministry  to enhance effectiveness and proficiency in the sector.

He said the Ministry of Higher Education when established will put Liberia on par with other countries that have such setting in their educational systems.

“The Ministry of Education  has many challenges as it relates to its oversight because of low manpower  and technicians,” he argued, stressing also that the situation is affecting  the quality  and effectiveness  of  the higher educational sector.

The Bong County Senator said he is  of  the conviction that  the bill, which is now in Committee Room, will be placed  on the floor of  the Liberian Senate  for deliberation .

However, Education Minister Ansu Sonii strongly has opposed the creation of the Ministry of Higher Education as proposed by Senator Tokpa.

Minister Sonii argued that such proposal is not timely and urged him to direct his efforts to ensuring increment in the budgetary allotment for the National Commission on Higher Education responsible for accreditation and supervision of the colleges and universities across the country that is currently challenged.

As Chairman of the Board on Higher Education, Minister Sonii wants  the Commission  equipped  with  the reviewing of  the curriculum and logistics rather than welcoming such proposal.

He also repudiated claims by Senator Topkpa that the Ministry of Education supervises the Commission on Higher Education.

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