BY: Shallon S.Gonlor

SANNIQUELLIE, NIMBA CO. — A recent visit by Liberia’s new Education Minister, Dr. Jarso Mally Jallah has uncovered afinancial scandal of over US$50,000 (Fifty thousand) in Nimba County School System.

Like other counties in Liberia, corruption and bribery in education, particularly in Nimba County School System is a serious bridge that undermines the quality and availability of advance public schools in the country.

Liberia is one of the poorest countries in the world and its education system lags behind most countries, in both access and quality.

While in Sanniquellie, Nimba County as part of her ongoing nationwide tour, Education Minister, Dr. Jarso Mally Jallah discovered irregularities over the misappropriation of funds, Fifty Thousand United States Dollars which was given to the County Education Stakeholders headed by the County Education Officer, Moses Dologbay to improve the structure of the Sanniquellie Central High School, but to no avail.

Education Minister Jallah said the financial scandal demonstrates that the entire county education stakeholders, County Education Officer lack financial accountability, transparancy, and integrity, leaving much room for education malpractices, corruption and bribery in the education circle of Nimba.

The alleged corrupt act has however drawn the focus of growing concern in the public among citizens, parents, students, and other civil society organization, calling for the immediate suspension of the entire educational board and Nimba County Education Officer, Moses S. Dologbay.

Those in the financial scandal including the County Education Officer now face a unique convergence of pressures that is creating a heightened threat to their integrity as education enterprise.

Liberian Education Minister while in meeting with education stakeholders in Sanniquellie, Nimba County frowned over the embezzlement and misappropriation of funds intended for mass development works, including the renovation of selected public schools, including the Sanniquellie Central High School.

She therefore expressed her discomfort in the usage of the US$50k by education authority in Nimba County.

It can be recalled, Liberian Government, through the Ministry of Education’s Improving Results in Secondary Education (IRISE) Project with funding from the World Bank selected few government’s secondary schools to improve education access and learning environment.

In February, 2020, the World Bank Group provided about $47 million to Liberia’s Improving Results In Secondary Education (IRISE) Project, which supports the Liberian government’s efforts to improve senior secondary education in the country.

Like Nimba County, IRISE project which was not implemented to improve the larger student community aimd to improving access and learning environment at senior secondary schools, increasing opportunities for girls to transition and complete senior secondary education and to address a large number of Liberian girls and young women dropping out of school between grades 9 and 10 and to assist the government in ensuring that young women are transitioning to and complete senior secondary education.

Corruption in education is a complex phenomenon, without a uniform definition. In education systems, bribery and embezzlement have been described as the most common acts in Liberia’s school system.

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