Teachers in Nimba Vow to Boycott Education Ministry’s Tests

GANTA, Nimba – Teachers in Nimba’s first educational district have threatened to stay away from additional testing being required by the Ministry of Education.

Speaking on behalf of the Bein-Garr branch of the National Teachers Association of Liberia, the president of the group, Edward Nohnkia revealed the reasons for the teachers’ planned boycott. He spoke with Radio Kergheamahn’s reporter Melvin Kobioh early this week in Ganta.

According to Nohnkia, the teachers are refusing the new testing on grounds that they have already gone through a series of testing as well as enrolling in the new biometric program meant to track their attendance. They believe this should serve as enough evaluation for them.

Nohnkia said the decision for teachers to refuse additional testing was made by the association’s national leaders including the Secretary General, Samuel Y. Johnson.

He said Johnson had informed him that the association’s national leaders were in talks with the Ministry and the legislature about the issue. “And he told me that the test, we should say no to the test until they can resolve everything,” Nohnkia added.

“Why should they test teachers when they have done the biometric? The teachers have been trained by National Government from the teacher training institutes,” he went on to say. “Just say they want to kill the teachers, because anytime the teachers hear about this test, they will die before their time.”

Nohnkia said his teachers are not necessarily afraid of testing, as they have done such in the past. However, he said many teachers may not be able to remember most of what they learned while at the teacher training institutes.

Besides the issue of poor retentive memory, Nohnkia said the requirement for teachers to travel to Sanniquellie for the testing made the issue even more difficult.

“Some of our teachers are old and some are from far away areas like Gbee and Dorru, and just to take them to Sanniquellie on their own expense causes them lots of problems,” he said.

Nohnkia called on every teacher of Bein-Garr Educational District to remain resolute as the national arm negotiates to bring the matter to rest.

Lynon Mantor, the District Educational Officer of Bein-Garr Educational District, has said that in his capacity as DEO, he will ensure that all teachers adhere to the Ministry’s order by going through the testing once it is confirmed by the ministry to be taken.

Featured photo courtesy of Lars Scholtyssyk

A resident of Ganta, Nimba County, Arrington has a background working with credit unions and other organizations dedicated to rural finance.

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