Lack of Teachers Crippling Public Schools

first_imgThe campus of New Yourpea Public School where there are reports of a shortage of teachers in spite of enrolment soaring from 315 to 500.Many public schools in Nimba County are reportedly short of teachers to meet the demands of ever increasing student population in the country spurred by government’s compulsory primary education policy.It is reported that in Buuyao Electoral District #5, school age children often loiter during class hours because, according to some of the parents, “the children do not have teachers and so they are free to roam about.”“We do not have teachers to teach us, this is why you see us outside of the classrooms,” some of the students attending the Teahplay Public School told the Daily Observer during a recent tour.“We have four teachers assigned to this school, but only two of them are on government payroll. Sometimes we sit in the class the whole day without any of them around,” a student claimed.Most of the schools the Daily Observer visited were crowded, but lacked enough teachers to keep the pupils busy with schoolwork.At Gblarlay Public School, for example, student enrolment is about 400, but with just one government paid teacher. The five volunteers are not regular because they are not given any incentive, they said.“The L$1,000 the community promised to give us is not forthcoming since the first period. It has caused most of the volunteers to stop coming to school,” said Napoleon Brewer, a student-volunteer at Gblarlay.In Beo Bleemieplay Town, parents are complaining of the limited number of teachers which they said is hampering the children’s learning process.“The government makes us force our children to attend school under the compulsory primary education policy but there are no teachers assigned to instruct them,” said Ma Nancy, one of the parents.“Most of the government assigned teachers are from the communities where they teach, a situation that makes it very hard to get the kind of cooperation the residents will need from them,” one of the teachers from New Yourpea Public School observed.When contacted, Nimba County Education Chief Officer (CEO) Moses Dologbay said the government is not recruiting teachers, but is rather updating its payroll system to absorb the qualified volunteered teachers.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Congress stiffens anti-secrecy rules

first_imgWASHINGTON – Congress on Tuesday struck back at the Bush administration’s trend toward secrecy since the 2001 terrorist attacks, passing legislation to toughen the Freedom of Information Act and increasing penalties on agencies that don’t comply. The White House would not say whether President Bush will sign the legislation, which unanimously passed the House by voice vote Tuesday a few days after it sailed through the Senate. Without Bush’s signature, the bill would become law during the congressional recess that begins next week. It would be the first makeover of the FOIA in a decade, among other things bringing nonproprietary information held by government contractors under the law. The legislation also is aimed at reversing an order by former Attorney General John Ashcroft in the wake of the attacks, in which he instructed agencies to lean against releasing information when there was uncertainty about how doing so would affect national security. The overwhelming congressional support for the legislation owes in part to administration allies who successfully insisted on stripping out language explicitly reversing Ashcroft’s order. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhicker: Clemson demonstrates that it’s tough to knock out the champThat victory, said Rep. Tom Davis, R-Va., is evidence that “we’ll continue to try to balance national security with the vital interests of open government.” With or without the Ashcroft provision, one of the sponsors said, the rewritten version that cleared Congress on Tuesday will have the intended effect of reversal. “No matter who is the next president, he will have to run a government that is more open than in the past” if the bill becomes law, Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said on the Senate floor. A previously passed version was rewritten this month to meet House concerns about how government agencies would pay for attorneys’ fees when they lose or settle a FOIA lawsuit. That money will now have to come from other programs within each agency. Supporting changes in the law were dozens of media outlets, including The Associated Press. “After years of growing government secrecy, today’s vote reaffirms the public’s fundamental right to know,” said Rick Blum of the Sunshine in Government Initiative, which represents 10 media organizations. “This bill makes common-sense changes to help the public know what government is up to.” “People worldwide have admired America for its openness in government, yet in past years we’ve moved backwards toward secrecy,” said Dave Ledford, president of The Associated Press Managing Editors and editor of The News Journal of Wilmington, Del. “This bill is a positive step forward.” Last year, the government received 21.4 million requests for information under the 40-year-old law, according to statistics provided by the Justice Department. Agencies processed nearly the same number of requests, which was almost 1.5million more than processed during the previous fiscal year, according to the department. The bill restores a presumption-of-disclosure standard committing government agencies to releasing requested information unless there is a finding that such disclosure could do harm. Agencies would be required to meet a 20-day deadline for responding to FOIA requests. Their FOIA offices would have to forward requests for information to the appropriate agency office within 10 days of receiving them. It they fail to meet the 20-day deadline, agencies would have to refund search and duplication fees for noncommercial requesters. They also would have to explain any redaction by citing the specific exemption under which the blacked-out information qualifies.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more