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Corruption in Public Education: Ministry of Education the Chief Architect?

first_imgBy Kadiker Rex Dahn, MA, M.Ed, PhDBackground It is always difficult to publicly criticize an entity in which one once worked for. I made such claim because it may erroneously be construed that such criticism is intended to undermine the current occupants of that entity.Once upon a time, I worked as a deputy minister of education, and I remain fully aware of most activities at that ministry. Be as it may, the future of Liberian children is more important than protecting individuals, who through corrupt practices relentlessly undermine education in the Republic.This article will attempt to argue that the Ministry of Education (MoE) of the Republic of Liberia is corrupt, and equally so, a chief architect in the transmission of cultural dishonesty.Consequently, the ministry does not need a tune-up but a complete overhaul.DiscussionsCultural dishonesty is unethical manners and practices embedded as a cultural disposition in which vices are transmitted to the next generation. The current depressing news about public education emanating from Nimba County, and perhaps other counties amounts to ‘cultural dishonesty.’Money being collected from Liberian students through mobile money apps by the MoE for development purposes is taxation, and not fees as the ministry has made us to think and believe. We know for sure that the Education Reform Act of 2011, mandated free education for Basic Education.That is from kindergarten to ninth grade, education will be free, totally free. However, if for some reasons students are to pay fees since in most instances, educational supplies to schools are always delayed or nonexistent, fees that students pay must be used by school administrators, but disturbingly, this seems not to be the case.Just as indigenous parents used to pay hut taxes those days to tax collectors, so is the same that is happening at the MoE.Here is the story as it is in Nimba County: Each elementary student is required to pay L$1,000 to the MoE through mobile money; junior high students each pays L$1,500 through the same metho to the MoE, and senior high students each pays L$3,000.What parents are told is that 50 percent of the amount will be used for development purposes, while the balance 50 percent will be returned to the various schools.Disturbingly, the 50 percent for the schools are yet to be returned.On October 15, 2019, the Daily Observer carried the headline, “3 County Education Officers Suspended.” Those suspended were: Samuel K.S. Bondo of Montserrado County, Moses Dologbay of Nimba County, and James G. Gaye of Margibi County for what the ministry turned “lack of oversight.”Daily Observer further stated, “The SMT’s engagement, which resulted in the above action was predicated upon the officers’ lack of appropriate communication of changes made to the prescribed fees the MoE charged, which was stipulated in the 2019/2020 Academic Calendar.The act on the part of the CEOs was considered as disregard for the direct instructions and policies of MoE.From the above statement, one can extrapolate that the MoE under the watch of Ansu Sonii is playing games with students, their parents and President George Weah.First, the action of collecting money for development purposes is the first in the Republic by the MoE. The various schools’ share of the 50 percent has not been returned to them, but still remains in the coffers of the Ministry, which claimed that the suspended CEOs had oversight responsibilities over their schools in those counties mentioned.Granted! One must ask, do not those suspended CEOs also have Regional Supervisors? If affirmative, what happened to them as well? Those supervisors also fall under the Department of Instruction. What has been the Minister’s decision as it relates to the Department of Instruction? Should only suspended CEOs be used as scapegoats?Minister Sonii as the head of the Ministry, is equally culpable for the actions or inaction of those under his care.What has been done to correct these irregularities? Is suspension enough? What about restitution?In Nimba County, the issue of students undertaking projects to supply the needs of CEO and DEOs are uncontrollable.Even PTA from the various twelve Educational Districts in Nimba County have become agents for the CEO and DEOs to the extent that students are also charged to pay taxes, not fees to buy motorbikes for PTAs Chairs in all the Education Districts.Students are responsible to build County Education Guest Houses. In our opinion, this is exploitation at the highest level. In all these clandestine activities, President Weah who is not aware about these secret dealings is being blamed as a result of the Ministry’s corrupt practices.The Pro-poor agenda is being made mockery of because, of the Ministry’s continuous illegitimate collection of money from students.One must ask, Honorable Minister, what is the purpose of the Education Reform Act of 2011, when in these tough times, students have been forced to pay taxes against their will?At the state-run University of Liberia, and all other public universities and colleges, the President declared “free education for mature students,” many of who are working and have the ability to work, but charging elementary, junior and senior high school students’ fees undermines the quest by the President for students to have access to higher education.Emphatically, it also undermines the President as head of the Government. The Minister of Education as an old administrator at a state run University, and a member of the current Cabinet, we thought again, would honestly guide the President in matters concerning education.One major issue of concern is the “free education” as pronounced by the President. As a minister of education, we are convinced that the President consulted him, and perhaps was misled in telling the President the truth.When a trusted lieutenant does such things like the Minister of Education’ inability to continuously, rightly and timely advise the President on issues on education, equally creates uneasiness. What has been alleged in the public sphere Honorable Minister, is that you are contemplating on contesting the senatorial seat in Margibi County.Whether true or false, in doing so, it is alleged that you have dismissed some DEOs, who may not like to be entangled with your interest, and the politics of the County. After dismissing those DEOs, it also alleged that you brought in selected individuals who will sing your political songs.We wonder whether these appointees have interest in education or you brought them in simply, for political purposes? It is also alleged that money sent through mobile apps at the MoE is intended to underwrite your campaign’s costs.Honorable Minister, the honest truth is that politicization of the educational sector is carcinogenic, and equally derails interest in those who have passion for the profession.Since your incumbency, the MoE has been clouded with suspicion of manipulations and corruptions. Our fear is that the MoE that should be the custodian of civility and honesty is being besieged by claims of corruption and dishonesty, and thus serving as a bad omen for the future generation.The omission of civic education from our national curriculum by you speaks of a downward spiral of morality and good citizenship.Conclusion Honorable Minister, the Ministry under your supervision is being tainted as a result of vices of all kinds. In view of the unjust taxes collected from students, we demand and recommend that those involved and suspended immediately without delay restitute the amount liable. To send a powerful message, those suspended CEOs must be dismissed.We also recommend that those Regional Supervisors for those suspended CEOs must equally be dismissed. We strongly believe that those CEOs did not act alone, but with the approbation of their supervisors.In fact, if we were you, we would have equally tendered in our resignation, because you are the chief policy maker and must take full responsibility of those corrupt activities uncovered in the system.Failure to implement these recommendations may create more problems for the Ministry, and our Donor Partners will not have trust in a corrupt institution like the Ministry of Education, and that will be the beginning of the many troubles to come.About the author: Kadiker Rex Dahn holds two Masters and a PhD in Historical, Philosophical and Social Foundations of Education from the University of Oklahoma. He formerly served as a Deputy Minister of Education and Deputy Director General, National Commission on Higher Education. He is a member of the North America Scholar Consortium, membership with the Highest Honor. 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Liverpool seek ‘perfection’ in bid to dethrone Pep’s City

first_imgYet even he could not conceive of amassing 97 points in a league season, let alone that mark only being good enough for second place.Liverpool’s points tally was not just a club record, but the third-highest in Premier League history, behind only Manchester City’s 98 this season and City’s haul of 100 points in romping to the title last year.Unfortunately for Jurgen Klopp’s men, it will be Pep Guardiola’s champions they have to beat again to end a 30-year wait for a league title next season.Virgil van Dijk has been a huge influence for Liverpool this season © AFP/File / Oli SCARFF“As long as City are around, with the quality they have, the financial power and all that stuff, it’s not that any other team will pass them easily,” said Klopp, whose side lost only one league game all season, to City in January, and still missed out.“You need to be very, very close to perfection to win the Premier League as long as this is the case.”City’s wealth in the decade since the club was bought by Sheikh Mansour, a member of Abu Dhabi’s royal family, has transformed the blue half of Manchester into serial winners.– City cash –Sunday’s title triumph was their fourth in the past eight seasons, but City have not always made the most of their new-found wealth, drifting under Roberto Mancini and Manuel Pellegrini after previous title triumphs.Guardiola is the point of difference. The Catalan has now won the league in eight of his 10 seasons as a top-flight coach in three different countries with Barcelona, Bayern Munich and City.Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah (left) and Sadio Mane shared the Premier League Golden Boot award with Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang © AFP/File / Oli SCARFFWorryingly for the competition, Guardiola insisted City will only get stronger next season.But the notoriously intense Catalan also has a history of not overstaying his welcome.Next season will be his fourth in Manchester, matching his longest managerial stint so far at Barca, after which he required a year’s sabbatical, citing exhaustion.“I cannot deny I am so tired, but at the same time winning the title gives you a lot of energy,” said Guardiola on Sunday. “Winning is so addictive.”Liverpool’s fate in the coming years may ultimately depend on how long the drug of winning sustains Guardiola at the Etihad.There will also be a fear on Merseyside that Liverpool have come close before, most notably under Rafael Benitez a decade ago and Brendan Rodgers in 2013/14 and failed to take the next step a season later.The stars may not align the same way next season. Huge goalkeeping errors from Everton’s Jordan Pickford and Tottenham’s Hugo Lloris kept Liverpool on City’s coattails with late winners.City may have sped away into the distance had Riyad Mahrez not blasted a late penalty over the bar when the sides met at Anfield in a 0-0 draw in October, while the champions suffered shock defeats in December to Crystal Palace and Leicester thanks to wonder strikes from Andros Townsend and Ricardo Pereira.However, unlike previous near misses when Xabi Alonso and Luis Suarez soon departed for Spain, this Liverpool side look built for the long term.Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane, Virgil van Dijk and Alisson Becker have been tied down to long-term contracts.Flying full-backs Andy Robertson, 25, and Trent Alexander-Arnold, 20, should only get better with age.Big summer signings Fabinho and Naby Keita grew as the campaign went on and should kick on in their second season in the Premier League.“We knocked on the door pretty hard this season,” said Robertson.“They know we are here and hopefully here to stay now. Next season I am sure we won’t lose anyone and, if we replicate this season, we can’t ask much more.”Sometimes, second is more than nothing.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool amassed 97 points but finished second behind Manchester City © AFP / Paul ELLISLONDON, United Kingdom, May 13 – “If you are second you are nothing,” said former Liverpool manager Bill Shankly. But rarely can a runner-up have been more proud of falling just short than Liverpool in the Premier League this season.Shankly won three league titles on Merseyside in the pre-Premier League era and built the foundations for two decades of dominance that endured even after he departed.last_img read more

Feds accuse South LA gang of racketeering

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m. The two federal indictments are the result of Operation Joker’s Wild, a three-year investigation into Florencia 13. Controlled by an incarcerated member of the Mexican Mafia prison gang and Mexican Mafia members on the street, F13 controls drug distribution in the unincorporated areas south of the city of Los Angeles and certain other areas such as Huntington Park, according to the RICO indictment. The leaders collect taxes or “rent” from gang members and others who engage in criminal conduct in F13 territory, in return for Mexican Mafia protection when they went to prison or jail. “The RICO indictment describes how the gang worked to control criminal activity in its territory,” said United States Attorney Thomas P. O’Brien. “The most disturbing aspect of the case is that in working to eradicate rival gangs from streets claimed by Florencia, gang members allegedly engaged in a series of attacks on rival African-American gangs that extended to innocent citizens who ended up being shot simply because of the color of their skin.” Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca said that Florencia has terrorized communities for several generations. “Today, these communities are safer,” he said. “The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department will continue to work alongside federal agencies to utilize all resources available from the federal government to combat gangs.” In addition to RICO and RICO conspiracy charges, the 53-count indictment includes narcotics and weapons charges and alleges a series of violent crimes in aid of racketeering, including six conspiracies to commit murder and five assaults with deadly weapons. In particular, the indictment alleges that the leaders of F13 directed members to cleanse their neighborhoods of members and associates of African-American street gangs who lived in or near the area controlled by F13. The indictment details a series of attacks against African-Americans, both rival gang members and innocent citizens. The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, which has primary responsibility for patrolling the unincorporated areas south of Los Angeles, has documented more than 80 shootings, including 20 murders, directly linked to the turf war between F13 and rival African-American gangs. One of the acts described in the RICO count concerns the August 2005 shooting of an African-American man who was waiting for a bus in F13 territory. The RICO indictment also accuses three F13 members in an attempted robbery in the Los Angeles Jewelry District. In August 1996, the three F13 members ambushed two armed security guards who were delivering gold to a shop in the downtown Jewelry Mark. One F13 member was killed, and his two partners escaped without the gold. The second indictment charges 37 defendants with drug trafficking crimes, money laundering and firearms offenses. This indictment focuses primarily on F13 gang members who allegedly obtained cocaine and methamphetamine from the gang leaders charged in the RICO indictment and resold the narcotics to other Florencia gang members and members of other gangs. “This case exemplifies the partnership between local, state and federal agencies in attacking the violent crimes that are impacting our community,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Timothy J. Landrum. “These types of criminals represent the worst of the worst offenders who are committing robberies, trafficking in drugs and putting our citizens in danger.” The defendants arrested this morning are expected to make their initial appearances this afternoon before one of several magistrate judges in United States District Court in Los Angeles and in Santa Ana. Twenty-two of the defendants named in the RICO indictment face sentences of up to life in federal prison. The remaining two defendants face up to 20 years in prison. The maximum penalty for the 37 defendants named in the narcotics indictment is life without parole in federal prison. All 37 defendants face 10-year mandatory minimum sentences, and most have prior narcotics convictions which will increase their mandatory minimum sentence to either 20 years or life without parole. —————————————————— For the latest news and observations on crime in Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley, check out the Daily News’ crime blog by clicking here.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! A federal drug task force this morning arrested 34 people in connection with a federal racketeering and narcotics case stemming from the activities of the Florencia 13 gang in South Los Angeles. In addition to distribution of methamphetamine and crack cocaine, the charges include shootings of African-Americans in neighborhoods the gang claimed to control. A total of 61 defendants are named in two indictments – one that charges violations of the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act and one that charges federal narcotics-trafficking violations. The indictments were returned by a federal grand jury on September 27 and were unsealed this morning. The 34 arrests made this morning – 32 pursuant to the federal indictments and two probable cause arrests on state charges – are in addition to 14 defendants who are already in custody on state charges and four who are in federal custody. Eleven defendants are fugitives who are currently being sought by authorities.last_img read more

Manuel Pellegrini bemoans ‘important mistakes’ which cost Manchester City v PSG

first_imgManual Pellegrini has bemoaned the mistakes made by his players which cost them a potential victory against PSG on Wednesday evening.The Premier League side were facing a tough challenge to overcome PSG in Paris, but they made a solid start to the game and took a well-deserved lead through Kevin De Bruyne.However, foolish play between Joe Hart and Fernando allowed Zlatan Ibrahimovic to score for the French side, getting them back into the game.Goalkeeper Hart passed the ball to his midfield teammate on the edge of the penalty area, and believing he had time, Fernando attempted to turn to face the middle of the park.However, he failed to control the ball, and Ibrahimovic was there to convert a first-time finish past an out-of-position Hart.Pellegrini is understandably frustrated with the manner in which City conceded the first goal,  whilst also bemoaning the fact that PSG’s second goal was offside.The Chilean boss told BT Sport: “Tonight is a very good result for us, we scored two goals but we made a couple of important mistakes that allowed them to score their first goal – and unfortunately for us the second goal was clearly offside.“If we want to win we cannot make these kind of mistakes – but I think the team had personality during the whole game to try to win the game.” Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini 1last_img read more

Ape does ‘Kong’-sized DVD sales in week

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl event160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “King Kong” climbed to the top of the DVD world by amassing a gigantic $100 million in sales and rentals in less than a week, Universal Studios Home Entertainment announced Monday. Consumer spending on “Kong” included sales of 6.5 million DVDs, the largest six-day performance of any Universal title ever. The film, directed by Peter Jackson and starring Naomi Watts, Jack Black and Adrien Brody, was released last Tuesday in two formats: a two-disc collector’s edition DVD with several bonus features and a single-disc version of just the film. Most major retailers heavily discounted both versions during opening week, enabling consumers to snap up the single-disc for as low as $13.99 and the collector’s edition for just over $20. “People wanted the title and the film is doing exactly what you would expect it to do,” said Ralph Tribbey, editor of DVD Release Report, an industry newsletter. In addition to the discount price, “Kong” was also heavily promoted by Universal through a series of consumer product tie-ins including campaigns with Papa John’s, Hostess, Kellogg’s, Nestle, Chase, Toshiba, and Orville Redenbacher’s Gourmet Microwave Popcorn. USHE President Craig Kornblau said DVD consumers seemed to recognize the “singular event status” of the three-hour film, which won an Academy Award. “Hands down, Peter Jackson’s `King Kong’ ranks as one of Universal’s biggest and most successful cinematic triumphs of all time,” Kornblau said. With a domestic box office take of $217.6 million, “Kong” was nevertheless perceived as something of an under-performer because of lofty pre-release expectations. The film was also overshadowed by the stunning success of “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” which had opened within a week of “Kong” and went on to gross $289.8 million domestically. But internationally, “Kong” has been a smash taking in more than $300 million in foreign markets for a worldwide box office gross of $550 million. That makes it the fourth-highest grossing movie in the 94-year history of Universal. “Narnia” is being released on DVD today by Disney’s Buena Vista Home Entertainment and Tribbey believes that film “is going to do just as well as `King Kong.”‘ Also out today from USHE is the drama “Brokeback Mountain,” which won three Oscars, and a director’s cut of Best Picture winner “Crash.” (818) 713-3758 last_img

Aleksandar Kolarov dedicates Serbia goal to ex-Tottenham defender

first_imgAnd the current Roma left-back was quick to pledge his support to his compatriot.Kolarov said: “We dedicate this win to our Director [Goran Bunjevcevic], and we want him to know that we are all supporting him.“He’s had some health problems. We want to relay this message to him and his family that we are 100 per cent behind him.”talkSPORT will be with listeners all day and all night at this year’s 2018 FIFA World Cup™ with over 800 hours of World Cup content and all 64 games live across the talkSPORT network. Aleksandar Kolarov celebrate’s Serbia’s victory over Costa at World Cup 2018 In April this year, though, the 45-year-old suffered a stroke and required emergency surgery.While Bunjevcevic recuperates, Serbia’s stars grabbed their first World Cup win since 2010 with ex-Man City ace Kolarov curling a superb free-kick beyond Real Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas. Goran Bunjevcevic in action for Tottenham Hotspur in 2003 2center_img Getty Images World Cup hero Aleksandar Kolarov has dedicated his match-winning goal for Serbia against Costa Rica to ex-Tottenham star Goran Bunjevcevic.Bunjevcevic, the Serbian Football Association’s sporting director since 2016, played for Spurs between 2001 and 2006 and was capped 16 times for his nation. 2last_img read more

Callum Wilson gets first England call-up for games against USA and Croatia

first_imgAlex McCarthy, Luke Shaw and Danny Welbeck are back, having been forced to withdraw from the previous squad due to minor injuries.Everton defender Michael Keane has also been called up for the first time in 12 months, with uncapped Brighton centre-back Lewis Dunk retaining his place.Jadon Sancho, who became the first player born since 2000 to play for England when he came off the bench against Croatia, is also among the squad having scored four goals in his last five games for Borussia Dortmund.After a draw with Croatia and a 3-2 win over Spain, England must wait on the result of the meeting between their Group Four rivals before they know what rests on their final Nations League game.Relegation to League B or progression into the finals of the inaugural UEFA Nations League tournament both remain possibilities ahead of Spain’s trip to Zagreb. 2 Meanwhile, Dele Alli, Jessie Lingard and Ruben Loftus-Cheek all return to Gareth Southgate’s side having missed out on the last squad through injury, although that means youngsters Mason Mount and James Maddison have been dropped out.The squad also boasts the return of Wayne Rooney, who will make his 120th and final England appearance in the friendly against USA at Wembley Stadium.Rooney’s return from international retirement has split opinion, with the FA honouring the striker by officially dubbing the USA clash ‘The Wayne Rooney Foundation International’, in honour of the record goalscorer and his charity.However, it is understood the DC United star will only make a late substitute appearance, and not the starting and captain role the player apparently expected.He is not in contention for the Nations League clash with Croatia three days later. All set for our final games of 2018! 💪See who’s in the #ThreeLions squad for our @FoundationWR international against the USA and #NationsLeague clash with Croatia:— England (@England) November 8, 2018 Callum Wilson has received his first call-up to the senior England squad for upcoming games against the United States and World Cup finalists Croatia.The Bournemouth striker, 26, has been rewarded for his fine start to the season, which has seen him score seven goals for the high-flying Cherries – who currently sit sixth in the Premier League. 2 Rooney will not start against USA, despite the FA branding it a tribute game to the record goalscorer last_img read more

Gifts of season

first_imgPICO RIVERA – The Christmas spirit was delivered to needy residents at Rivera Park Saturday in 854 neatly-packed boxes of food and toys, courtesy of the city’s Christmas Basket Committee. The committee, a group of 32 extraordinary seniors, works year-round to collect cans and funds from the community through food drives, running a thrift store, and corporate donations. Though families registered with the committee receive assistance on a monthly basis, their main project is to hand out boxes filled with fresh meat, bread, canned vegetables and juice, along with a bag of toys to families who cannot afford a Christmas celebration. “It’s important to us that they have food and toys for the kids during the holidays,” said Viola Peralta, a member of the committee. “Every senior in the committee has something wrong with them health-wise, but we still volunteer because we know it’s valuable work.” Local teenagers from El Rancho high school, St. Hilary’s church, and various troops of Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts helped pass out the boxes to the families, who started lining up at 10 a.m. for the 1 p.m. handout. “This time of the year, a lot of people like me struggle with money,” said Pico Rivera resident Martin Campos, who brought his daughter with him to stand in line to receive a basket. “It’s good that they help us because the kids get a toy, we have food to eat, they make these days more easy.” (626)962-8811, Ext. 2236 AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals 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

Pic Special: Youths’ parish work honoured at Pope John Paul II Awards

first_imgMore than 90 Transition Year students from the Diocese of Raphoe received the Pope John Paul II Award at a special ceremony in the Villa Rose Hotel in Ballybofey last week. For the award, the young people worked in both their parish and community throughout the year, lending their gifts and talents to many different ministries, clubs and charities.Bishop Boyce and guest speaker Keith Kelly congratulated all involved in generously giving their time and effort to benefit others. Pic Special: Youths’ parish work honoured at Pope John Paul II Awards was last modified: October 6th, 2016 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more