Education Minister Again! -Warned For Vulgarity

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has told Education Minister George Werner, that his recent statement on social media is unbecoming and inconsistent with his position as a senior official of government.

According to an Executive Mansion release, President Sirleaf made the statement on Monday during a conversation with the Education Minister.

The Liberian leader indicated further that the Minister’s social media statement is also a contradiction to and undermines her recent Special Statement on vulgarity, abuse and spread of hate messages by some Liberians during the Electoral process.

The President concluded by accordingly warning Minister George Werner and all other officials of government to stop such attitude and act in ways consistent with their status as public officials.

It can be recalled that huge criticisms rose from all sector of the Liberian society regarding recent comments made by Minister Werner on his Facebook wall denigrating the August 17, 2017 presidential debate and condemning the necessity of intellectualism in governance with specific reference of the Liberian Educational system.

Several Liberians described Minister Werner’s Facebook Post, as action that warranted his immediate dismissal as the Minister of Education.

Minister Werner in his Face book comments put forward a number of questions, and at the same time justifying his reasons for degenerating education by saying: “What’s the purpose of political debates in Liberia, and who are the debates for?

Education Minister Werner in his recent face book said: “Where’s the evidence that a candidate became President in Liberia because s/he was a great debater? Let those who manage the candidates advise them to campaign to their strengths. Don’t debate if it isn’t your strength. There are many other ways to articulate your platform or vision for the country. The debates could be a setup by the meritocratic elite (for the elite) to show how educated and knowledgeable they are. It’s been an essential part of Liberian history, of exclusion even, to eliminate the perceived uneducated through “book” talk.”

He continued: “Da book talk we’ll eat? For those who are surprised by this post, I haven’t changed my views since 2004. “They like hiding behind books to lie to the people. How does a debate, an intellectual exercise, help you to “live Liberia, think Liberia, and love Liberia”? By the way, who won the debates in 2005 and 2011? Where are they now?”

He continued: “To the book people, education does not promote equality and shared prosperity. Education alone is not enough to make anyone a “good” leader.”

The suggestion that all must participate in debates to justify their quest for leadership and their ‘educatedness” is tabata (origin in Kru, anything that does not make sense), to say the least.

“How about meeting voters in the palava huts, under the trees, in their communities and homes? By the way, don’t use the schools and break the desks and chairs. Advice to all candidates: campaign to your strengths. Don’t follow the meritocratic elites’ intellectual stagecraft. They set it up to their advantage with their unscrupulous recorders and editors,” Minister Werner’s social media post read.

As a result of such comments on the Liberian educational system; the Liberian Senate summoned him to appear before that august body to give reason why he should not be held in contempt.

His appearance angered several Senators including Montserrado County Senator Geraldine Doe-Sheriff who raised concerns over the Minister’s demeaning comments on social media against education.

Senator Sheriff called on her colleagues in the Senate to declare “vote of no confidence” for his comments made against the country’s educational system.

Eleven of the 16 senators voted in favour of the motion to pass a vote of no confidence in the Education Minister, but a motion for reconsideration from Senator George Tengbeh of Lofa County stalled the process of informing the President of their decision.