MONROVIA, June 16 (LINA) – An additional US$3 million will be needed to achieve the educational deliverable of placing 5,000 teachers on government’s payroll to meet the target of the required 17,000 teachers, according to a senior official of the Ministry of Education (MoE).
When he appeared before the plenary of the House of Representatives on Thursday, Deputy Minister for Administration, Latim Da-thong, prayed the lawmakers to augment the current US$42 million annual budget of the ministry to US$45 million.
He had gone to the Capitol Building, seat of the National Legislature, to update the House of Representatives on the current state of affairs of the educational system in the country.
Da-thong said the additional US$3 million being sought would be tailored toward directly placing the 5,000 supplementary teachers on the payroll of the ministry.
MoE has a target of 17,000 teachers directly employed before 2023.
At current, it has 12,000, the official said, adding that it will take the country US$200 million to attain a complete standardization of the educational system – “and this is a huge challenge for now.”
Meanwhile, the ministry says 1,700 teachers are ready to be retired after long service in the field, though Da-thong noted that they (authorities) are craving for US$1 million for retirement package for prospective pensioners.
In addition, the deputy minister said they have identified some 1,500 “ghost names” that have been flushed from the ministry’s payroll.
There is also a challenge of securing school material for this academic year by the MoE, and Da-thong said: “As we speak, we don’t have school materials ahead of the new school year. We are challenged. We need to pay the teachers because it is our responsibility and if we don’t do that the teachers will soon start leaving and we will have a new crisis. Let’s pay our teacher first.”
This statement by the senior official was indicative of the budgetary stress being encountered by the Ministry of Education with the call for lawmakers to appropriately intervene.