…As 900,000 Arrive Soon
By: Frank P. Martin
In an effort to provide quality education and increase access to learning, Liberia Education Minister, Prof. Ansu D. Sonii, said the Liberian Government, in collaboration with partners, has procured approximately nine hundred thousand textbooks to be used in public schools across the country.
The textbooks, according to him, are expected to arrive in the country early May of this year, and nationwide distribution will commence at the beginning of next academic year.
“We want make learning easy for our children who are the future of this country; therefore, we decided as a country, and government, to procure at least 900,000 textbooks to be used in our schools across the country,” the Education Minister disclosed.
Minister Sonii said the books, when brought to the country, will enable high school students, especially public schools students, to access quality research materials of all subjects including mathematics, English, History, Geography, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, etc.
The Minister also said electronic version of the books will be available online for easy access to students and teachers who prefer their soft-copies use.
“The textbooks are coming in two versions: we are bringing in hard copies, and soft copies will be available. Those who prefer using their phones or computers can have access to them by just searching online for the particular edition of the books they want to access, which will definitely be available.
“I am of the strong conviction that this will be the first of its kind in the country’s history, for our school materials being available and accessible on the internet for easy access by the reading public as well as our students. This is only happening under the administration of President George Manneh Weah,” Minister Sonii averred.
According to him, while the textbooks are expected to be distributed among government’s own institutions of learning, only; the online version will be shared with private institutions.
“If any private schools need these materials, they can access the internet version by either downloading the books or just read them online,” he urged.
The Minister said the books will be in use by Liberian students for seven (7) year; within the period, students will take them home from the beginning of each academic semester and return them at the end of the academic year for another class’ use.
“Our students will use the books-set each one a year, meaning if you are a nine grader, for example, and you passed to the tenth grade, you return the set of all books back to the school for those who are promoted to nine grade to use them.
The Minister named sustainability as intent of the seven-year plan that students should not “abuse”.
“I know some parents will have problems with this policy but it is meant to sustain the project. If any student lost or destroyed the textbooks, he/she will restitute them,” the Minister warned.
He made the disclosure Wednesday, April 5, 2023, on a local radio station in Monrovia.
The Liberian Education Minister however did not say which country the books are originated from and who bankrolled the total cost of importing the books.
He also failed to state whether or not the books are authored by Liberian or foreign nationals and whether their contents are in line with Liberia’s Educational Curriculum or the West African Educational Curriculum since Liberian and other students in countries in the sub-region are annually writing the West African Senior School Certificate Examinations (WASSCE).
In the past some of the books that were used in Liberian schools were authored by some of Liberia’s world-class educators such as Dr. Joseph Saye Guannue, Prof. K. Moses Nagbe, Legendary Catholic Sister, Mary Laurene Brown, Prof. Wilton Sankanwolo, Bai T. Moore, Esther Williams, among others.