Maybe we should start by asking ourselves tough questions like, “How did we get here?” or “Do we really deserve this?” Or perhaps we should start asking the thought-provoking ones that not many people dare ask this regime like, “Doesn’t education matter to Liberia’s long term growth and development plan?” or “Who are the policy makers that are spearheading these policies which do not seem to integrate with the common citizens’ perspective?”
For quite some time now, everything about everything has just been wrong; the many protests around the country validate this claim, but that is not my focus here today. We have denigrated education so much that it now appears valueless. That is evident by the recent protests by high school students in the Monrovia Consolidated School System (MCSS) due to the government’s inability or refusal to pay their teachers’ salaries for over three months.
Isn’t that insane? Something as fundamental as paying teachers’ and civil servants’ salaries is being neglected. The possibility that a government succeeds if it doesn’t meet the needs of its people is very slim. What if we start to cut down on wasteful spending? What if someone can send a caveat to the “Country Giant” to cut down on his unnecessary travels? Or just maybe, we should begin an enforceable petition that can send a resounding call to the two “big boys” at the Capitol Hill to finally join their colleagues on the bandwagon and cut their extremely exorbitant salaries and benefits.
Aren’t these protests signs of this government’s incompetence and inability to provide basic services of human rights such as education, access to basic health care, or the ability to address the challenges confronting the nation in terms of economic instability? Even with all these protests happening, the ‘man in charge’ has shown absolutely no plan whatsoever to take an inch in addressing the reasons behind said civil disobediences that have happened over the short lifespan of his administration.
For me, I am not surprised. This man in charge should not have been taken seriously since he started skipping debates and downgrading education during his campaign; yet we went on and voted him in. Anyone intellectual enough should be cognizant of the fact that leadership becomes “interesting” if leaders fail to listen to their people. If we can pay $30,000 USD to musicians for performances, or pay each “zogo” in Monrovia a whopping sum of L$5000 each just for their Happy 26, we should as much be able to account adequately for our future by paying the people who are shaping it.
No nation has ever developed without education. The students’ protest yesterday, October 15, 2019, should remind this government and every one of us that education is a human right. And just to remind you, there has not been any administration in the history of this country who survived students’ protest. So, we might just want to ask the honorable legislators on Capitol Hill to plead with the Commander-in-Chief to pay teachers, among the other million things he needs to do to set us straight again.
Authored by Vermon Washington
Featured picture by FrontPage Africa