Monrovia – The distribution of civics textbooks to faith-based and private schools in the 26 school districts in Montserrado County has officially begun under the direction of the Ministry of Education. Dr. Ansu Sonii, the education minister, said the civic books are meant to teach kids about their duties and responsibilities in their country while speaking at the launch event held in Paynesville.
Dr. Sonii thanked Dr. Amos Sawyers’ family for writing the book but expressed regret that he couldn’t live to see the launching of the civic books. According to him, the President of Liberia, Mr. George Manneh Weah, is pleased by the re-introduction of civics in Liberian schools, which was stopped following the 1980 military coup. He added that these books need to impact the students but regrettably, they are from first to sixth grade and the ones from seventh to 12th grades are being developed because they will take you what it is to be a good citizen.
“Citizenship is a gift, but it comes with many duties. Sadly, this is the crucial component of citizenship that is lacking in this region of the world. Our nation is ours, and as its owner, you are responsible for maintaining, protecting, and upholding it.”
He encouraged the students to read the books so as to live in accordance with the directives and informed the private and faith-based schools that this is part of government subsidies. “There are already 500,000 elementary school kids in the nation, so we might not be able to serve every student right first. Despite this, the impact will be significant.”
The late Dr. Amos Sawyer’s wife, Mrs. Comfort Sawyer, who is presently the Deputy Minister for Administration at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, spoke at the civic books’ unveiling and stated that it was Dr. Sawyer’s ambition to link the youth to their duties in the nation. She claims that Dr. Sawyer founded WAHALA to produce more civics textbooks for junior and senior high school students around the nation.
“As my husband was writing these books, he would write till six in the morning, and when I would beg him to stop, he would respond that he would not stop because he wanted to restore citizens’ accountability and that he would stop when he was called to stop.”
She characterized the late Dr. Sawyer as a visionary because he saw the importance of teaching civics in Liberian schools in order to give the young people a solid understanding of their nation.
Conmany Wesseh, Senator for Rivergee County, praised Dr. Sawyer in his remarks for teaching them at the University of Liberia. He claimed that Dr. Sawyer was a remarkable individual and the answer to the missing piece for Liberian youth.
The launch of the books, according to Julia Sandiman-Gbeyai, Executive Director of the Center of Excellence for Curriculum Development and Textbook Research, was a turning point because it signaled the return of competence-based curriculum, in which holistic skills development will take center stage. She claims that the books will aid in expanding the scope of students’ understanding of their rights and obligations.
“ As we are moving towards electioneering period, civic knowledge in classroom and outside will play the greater role and fore-sight in helping our electorates to make sound and relevant decisions.”
The Ministry of Education gave scholarships to four students who demonstrated interest in becoming teachers during the event. Students from various institutions, members of the National Parent Teachers Association, the Principal Association of Liberia, Mary Nyumah, president of the National Teachers Association of Liberia, and others attended the presentation.
Reported by: Augustine Octavius