The Quality Education Debate: UP, CDC Who Wins?

The devastating civil war that destroyed thousands of Liberians and properties greatly affected the human resource capacity of the country’s educational sector.

The administration of former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf through the Unity Party Government for the 12 years of its leadership was unable to rebuild the educational sector to its pre-world status.    

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf admitted at one point that the government did not do its best to improve the educational sector, she indicated that if Liberia is to make progress and compete in a 21st century world, the country’s educational system will need a complete overhaul as the quality of education has declined and is far below acceptable standards.

During a Cabinet Retreat in 2013, the former Liberian President described the country’s educational system as a mess that needed a complete overhaul.

Such statement by former President Sirleaf calling for an improvement of the Liberian educational system was not a piece of new information but was continually called since taking office in 2006 without a tangible solution up to the 2017 Legislative and Presidential Elections that gave power to President George Weah in 2018.

Upon the ascendancy of President George Weah and his vision for a transformed educational sector, the government took the responsibility to pay all 12th graders WASSEC fees and tuition-free at all public universities and colleges across the country.

The government also engaged in building and upgrading the capacities of teachers at various high schools across the country through the Rural Teachers Training Institute and the Teachers Colleges at various universities.

As President Weah’s efforts to improve the educational sector, the Minister of Education ensures that all 12th graders undergo an intensive tutorial class paid for by the Liberian Government as a means of preparing the students for WASSCE   and WACE across the country.

With such preparation unless the previous Unity Party Government, more students have taken their education seriously thus making great improvement since 2017 in the sector as a comparative analysis survey disclosed.

In the survey of students who took the WACE during the administration of former President Sirleaf in 2017, 71% of the students passed.

In 2014 the students dropped to 46.57% in 2016 40.39% and the students continued the dropping in WAEC to 58.55% in 2017 up to 2018 with 38.24% respectively.

The survey further indicates that the Weah’s led government progressiveness put into place a system and the needed financial support by paying the WASSCE fees thus allowing the students not to contemplate on paying fees but to study. The students began to improve in 2019 with the students obtaining 71%. The students kept up with the improvement in 2020 with 81.37% including 2021 with 93.83% as well as 2022 with 95.79% and in 2023 94.%  respectively.   

With the concurrence results since the ascendency of President Weah, the debate as to who has provided sound and quality education in the country since the end of the civil conflict has been laid to rest as the Weah administration has seen the improvement in the educational system.

Despite some challenges in the sector, Many Liberians who spoke to this paper admitted that things have improved under this Weah-Taylor Administration as the WAEC results continue to favor Liberian students across the country.

“President Weah has changed the narratives,” said an elderly woman upon receiving her daughter’s WASSCE results.


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