Nobel Laureate Gbowee wants education reform

Nobel Peace Prize winner Gbowee speaks her mind on Liberia's poor education standard

Nobel Peace Prize winner Gbowee speaks her mind on Liberia’s poor education standard

Nobel laureate Leymah Gbowee has frowned on the poor quality of the Liberian education system and called for a reform in order to tackle the current challenges facing it.
Gbowee who heads the Gbowee Foundation, a peace building and advocacy initiative providing several scholarships to deserving students both at home and abroad, stated that it was disheartening to realize that some of the graduates from higher institutions in the country with high marks cannot write a proper letter.

“Can you imagine that a university graduate with a 3.00 point GPA can’t write a letter? How did he/she earn the high GPA?” Gbowee wondered.

She stated that the country’s education system has two technical problems: one, she said, is the huge number of unqualified teachers roaming the classrooms, and the other is the lack of motivation on the part of the students, something she claimed required reforms in the education system.

Madam Gbowee made the comment at the Gbowee’s Foundation Headquartered in Congo Town Friday, when she presented degrees and diplomas to three graduates who are beneficiaries of the Gbowee’s Foundation.


Three of the graduates who benefitted from the foundation's program

Three of the graduates who benefitted from the foundation’s program

Two of the graduates were among three others who graduated from the Eastern Mennonite University in the United States.

The graduates include Vaba Flomo and Gwendolyn Myers who earned degrees in conflict transformation; Grace Jarson got a certificate in the same discipline while Ernestine Vulue a graduate of the Effort Baptist High School received a diploma.

She congratulated the graduates for their studies.

Gbowee pointed out that the foundation  is faced with the challenged posed when some beneficiaries of the foundation’s scholarship program find it difficult in passing the foreign exams. As the result, she added, the foundation has to call on its partners to give the recipients’ time in order to prepare themselves to re-sit the exams.

Madam Gbowee said because of the poor performance of some Liberian students, the foundation has to extend the foreign scholarship program to Ghanaian students as well.

The Nobel Peace laureate indicated that students eyeing the scholarships should be able to fall in division one and two of the West African Examination Council (WAEC) and also students in the communities who are desirous of learning but can’t afford the tuition can benefit from the program.

She warned that female students who are benefitting from the scholarships are not allowed to get pregnant while on the program. She said female students who get pregnant will be dropped and must reapply after giving birth.

Gbowee said this is the standard set by the foundation because people who offer these scholarships will like to get value for their money.

Madam Gbowee said she has gotten complaints from females on the foundation’s scholarships, that there are some instructors in the habit of asking the female students for sex for grades and hopes to expose them.

“We have gotten lot of complaints from our female students that some instructors are in the habit of asking them for sex for grades but at an appropriate time we will expose them,” said Gbowee.

Gwendolyn Myers, speaking on behalf of the graduates, indicated that their studies in the United States were very rewarding and called on other females to take advantage of these kinds of opportunities and do away with the feeling that the people have their people for such program.

“What I will like to tell my fellow females is be determined, focused and passionate of what you want to do then you will succeed” said Myers.

–Story & Photo Peter N. Toby