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For Education Budget: Lawmakers Debate Quest for 20% Increment

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MONROVIA: The House of Representatives (HOR), has authorized its joint committees on Claims & Petition and Education to review a petition seeking twenty percent increment in the Education Budget for FY 2024.

Plenary reached the decision Thursday, February 22, 2024, after a conglomeration of Civil Society Organizations under the banner Education Budget Advocacy Coalition, sponsored by United States Agency for International Development (USAID/ Civil Society Activity- CSA petitioned the House of Representatives Education Committee for such increment.

“In Liberia, the state of education stands at a pivotal juncture, where the potential for a brighter future for our youth is impeded by persistent challenges encompassing school supplies, teacher remuneration, educational infrastructure, early childhood education, and insufficient budgetary support.

“ Although the Liberian government acknowledges the paramount importance of education, as enshrined in Article 6 of the 1986 Liberian Constitution guaranteeing equal access to educational opportunities and facilities for all citizens, substantive actions to address the escalating educational needs remain wanting”, the petition stated.

They added that the Liberian government, in alignment with its commitments under the Incheon Declaration of 2015 and the Dakar Framework of 2000, pledged to allocate a minimum of 20% of the national budget to the education sector, despite witnessing a gradual increase in the Liberian education sector budget in recent years, rising from 12% in FY 2023 to 16% in the FY 2024 draft budget, the government has struggled to fulfill its obligations.

The petition added that stakeholders have deeply recognized the pressing necessity for transformative policies to tackle critical issues concerning school supplies, teacher remuneration, educational infrastructure, early childhood education, and bolstering budgetary support to local education offices in the education sector.

“This narrative aims to offer a concise overview of these challenges and set the groundwork for advocating for effective solutions and heightened budgetary allocations. The petition brief aims to Propose comprehensive solutions and advocate for a substantial increase in the education budget of Liberia”, it added.

Meanwhile, the joint committee is expected to review the instrument preceding a report to plenary.

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