One of the underlying causes responsible for the constant student unrests on the campuses of the University of Liberia and other higher institutions of learning in the country has been attributed to political interferences, according to Prof. Geegbae A. Geegbae, Dean of the Business College of the University of Liberia.The Economics Professor said political interferences in terms of admissions, mobilization of youth to get involved in politics at the expense of their studies have serious repercussions for education. He also stated that these constant unwholesome actions on the part of student prolong their stay on campuses.Though Prof. Geegbae failed to delve further into the nitty-gritty of the political interferences, our reporter said it has been established in time past that external political factors from some officials of government have led students to stage riots in the so-called name of advocating for social-justice for the ‘voiceless masses.’Prof. Geegbae made the assertions when he served as guest speaker at the graduation of the over 250 participants from the 2014 cycle of the Liberia Institute of Public Administration (LIPA) over weekend.He spoke on the topic, ‘The Challenge of Providing Adequate Professional Training for Public and Private Sector Employees for Efficient Service Delivery in Liberia’s Reform Agenda: The Role of LIPA.’The UL Dean of Business College further stated that once an institution of higher learning, like the UL, shifts from an educational or professional mode to a political mode, it becomes difficult to get it back to its original state.“They set trends that are unhealthy for growth. It is important and necessary to develop norms and values that prevent political interferences in academic matters,” Prof. Geegbae said.For his part, the Executive Director of LIPA, Oblayon Blayon Nyemah, Sr., said from the background of civil service reform, the civil service has been in disarray, while patronage permeated every sector of our public life making it difficult, if not impossible to deliver efficient services to the Liberian people.He said the post-conflict government inherited a moribund civil service; personnel were ill-trained, inadequately compensated and as such de-motivated and therefore the service seized to be the main machinery of the government bureaucracy as far as service delivery is concerned.“However, the plethora of reform initiatives undertaken by the new civil service administration, complemented by the tripartite coordination of the Governance Commission and LIPA, signals a renewed commitment to reinvent the machinery of civil service bureaucracy,” Mr. Nyemah said.The conferral officer of the 2014 First Training Cycle graduates, Amb. Commany Wesseh said Liberian manpower is worrisome because poor foundation and most of them bribe their way through to get degrees.Amb. Wesseh, who is the Minister of State without Portfolio, indicated that most university graduates do not know the different between the pronoun ‘I’ and the plural ‘are.’He urged graduates of the 2014 First Training Cycle to see themselves as new servants but must stop from clerical positions instead of Assistant Ministers.“It is better to start from the foundation in your offices than Director or Assistant Ministers, because if you are sacked you won’t know a damned thing,” Mr. Wesseh said.He added: “Don’t also be a Senator as soon you finished school, it’s better to rise to any position.”Meanwhile, registration for the 2014 2nd Training Cycle is in process and would end on Monday, 4 August 2014.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Under Vargas, HLPUSD started a regular televised program about the district, a visual and performing arts foundation, and a technology program in partnership with Dell Inc. But his tenure was also marked by controversy. Students at Workman High School held protests last school year over the policies and leadership of former principal Sergio Garcia, and said Vargas’ administration was unresponsive to their concerns. The district also faces a budget crisis, and over the next three school years must cut spending by $10 million, or about 8 percent of its operating budget. “My biggest concern is the financial crisis the district finds itself in,” said John Crowther, Hacienda La Puente Teachers Association president. “I don’t think it’s totally related to declining enrollment. The district needs to get its spending under control. “I wish him luck,” Crowther said. “The teachers are looking forward to working with whoever replaces him.” School board member Joseph Chang said he hopes to find a new superintendent who will stay for a long period of time. “We cannot rush into it. It’s very difficult to find a good superintendent who can stay for a while,” he said, adding a search could last three to six months. If they cannot find someone quickly, they may hire an interim superintendent, he said. Staff Writer Esther Chou contributed to this story. firstname.lastname@example.org (626) 9621-8811, Ext. 2306160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl eventBoard member Norman Hsu said Vargas informed him and the other board members Thursday of his resignation. “We were all shocked,” he said. “This is a difficult time, with the budget cuts,” Hsu said. “It’s not good timing, but everyone has their own future” to think about, he said. The most important thing is to cut the budget without hurting students or educational programs, he said. Hsu said Vargas’ biggest accomplishment was improving academic performance, pointing to the district’s increased API scores and five newly named California Distinguished Schools. Before working at HLPUSD, which serves about 60,000 students, Vargas was superintendent of Santa Fe Public Schools in New Mexico and superintendent of Ysleta Independent School District in Texas. He has a doctorate in educational leadership and policy studies from the University of Washington. His salary reported in January was $187,000. He was recently a finalist for a superintendent’s job in Las Vegas. Superintendent Edward Lee Vargas has announced he will leave Hacienda La Puente Unified School District at the end of the school year. Vargas has accepted a job as superintendent-in-residence for a “nonprofit foundation, dedicated to social justice and educational reform,” according to a letter he sent to district employees. Vargas would not give the name of the organization he will work for, but said it serves school districts nationwide. He would not comment on his departure other than to release a one-sentence prepared statement saying it had been an honor to serve as the district’s superintendent.