Liberian Minister of Education Suspended Following jhr Story

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At the E.J. Goodridge School in rural Liberia, students were suffering from overcrowded classrooms, lack of chairs and deplorable building conditions. Student who did not get seats either stood to learn or left school for the day. One student broke his arm while fighting to secure a seat during school hours.

 

jhr trained reporter, Theophilis Seeton, heard rumors of the students distress and decided to investigate and then report on the school’s conditions. Seeton normally covers Legislative and Presidential activities, but after attending three jhr workshops, including one on Children’s Rights, he became inspired to report on underprivileged Liberians. ” drew my attention to highlight the plight of children at E.J. Goodridge school…where children have a right to education, but simply loiter in the hallways and outside the buildings because of seating capacity,” said Seeton.

 

On September 7th 2009 his story “Four students to one Chair; Strike Action Imminent” hit newsstands. Just hours later, the President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, paid an unannounced visit to the school and immediately suspended the Education Minister and two Deputies for their failure to properly manage and monitor public schools. She also ordered US$20,000 worth of renovations for the school. Shortly afterwards, the Liberian Journalists for Human Rights and Good Governance Network used its monthly funding from jhr to tour ten public schools in the area, and filed similar reports on the radio and in newspapers. After the reports came out Sirleaf sacked the Minister for corruption and appointed a new one.

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