The Plenary of the House of Representatives has empowered the Committees on Education and Judiciary to investigate complaints from the National Teachers Association of Liberia (NTAL), including the stalemate between the NTAL and the Ministry of Education. The two committees, chaired by Representatives Dr. Isaac Roland and Worlea Saywah Dunah of Maryland and Nimba, respectively, are expected to jointly probe and report to Plenary, on or before Tuesday, Nov. 15.The decision was reached yesterday, Tuesday, November 8, on the first day of the 2nd Extraordinary Session.The longstanding conflict between the NTAL and the Education Ministry emerged when the Ministry decided to outsource a portion of the country’s Public Primary School system to Bridge International Academies and other private providers.The NTAL accused Education Minister George Werner and other Ministry officials of constant violations of the 1986 Liberian Constitution, the Education Law and human rights by privatizing the education system and dismissing teachers and the leaderships of teachers’ unions in Margibi and Montserrado counties, among others.The Ministry of Education, on the other hand, accused the dismissed teachers and education workers of violating the country’s labor law and the Civil Service Standing Orders.In the NTAL’s formal complaint to the House of Representatives, which was read yesterday, it spoke of provocations and violations of their rights that need urgent intervention in order to maintain the country’s fragile peace.“As a matter of information, the differences between the Education Ministry and the NTAL started when the Ministry decided to outsource portion of our Public Primary School system to profit-making providers such as Bridge International Academies and other private providers including BRAC, an agricultural NGO, Omega, a Ghanaian firm, and many others,” the NTAL noted.The House’s Plenary also mandated the Committees on Rules, Order and Administration and Youth and Sports to investigate the complaints from the ECOWAS Civil Society Movement of Liberia (ECSOMOL) against the Ministry of Youth and Sports for allegedly sabotaging ECOWAS programs and projects in the country. The youth group accused Youth and Sports Minister Saah Charles N’Tow and Deputy Minister for Youth Development Lance Gonyon.The Committee on Rules, Order and Administration is chaired Grand Bassa lawmaker J. Byron Brown, while the Youth and Sports Committee is headed by J. Gabriel Nyenkan. There was no timeline attached for the Committee to report to Plenary. This is the first task by each of the four committees since they were overhauled by the new leadership of Speaker J. Emmanuel Nuquay and Deputy Speaker Hans M. Barchue.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
– calls on supporters not to interfere with election materialsThe People’s Progressive Party (PPP) in its strongest terms condemned the ripping down of party flags by suspected supporters of the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APN/AFC) in various sections of Guyana.Speaking with Guyana Times, PPP/C Executive Secretary Zulfikar Mustapha explained that the action is deliberate and disrespectful.PPP/C Executive Secretary Zulfikar Mustapha“They have been ripping down these flags and in Region Five, Georgetown, Region Three and it seems as there are activists of APNU/AFC. Places like Hope Town, Den Amstel and certain sections in Georgetown it seems as a deliberate [action] by APNU/AFC supporters to rip down our flags.”As such, the matter was reported to the Ethnic Relations Commission (ERC), the Guyana Police Force, and other relevant State agencies to investigate the matter and call for the ignorance to stop forthwith.“This election should be something that is fair where every party should have a chance to display their elections materials and things like that, so I hope these bodies will take note and deal with these matters,” the PPP Executive stated.Flags that are being ripped downMustapha further added that the PPP/C believes in democracy and will ensure that their supporters do not interfere with any other political party’s elections material.“We have informed them not to interfere with anybody’s materials. We believe in democracy; we believe in that everybody must have their fair chance and we have informed out activists not to interfere with anybody,” Mustapha cited.The destruction of party paraphernalia is nothing new. In 2015, a People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) rally was rudely interrupted by a band of supporters of the APNU/AFC – involving children in their nefarious activities, the supporters urinated on and burned PPP flags, and hurled missiles at the rally speakers, including party stalwart, Dr Roger Luncheon.The person reported to have urinated on the PPP flag and subsequently setting it ablaze was Child Welfare Officer Abigail Baveghems, who is also the daughter of an APNU member.That incident has been widely criticised, given that it occurred on the same day that political parties had signed on to a Code of Conduct aimed at guiding the manner in which campaigning is conducted.