By Washington Tumay Watson –email@example.com
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.