“Not that students do not love science, but the presentation by teachers has made them student interest to decline,” the UNESCO official added.
When asked if his assertion about the low interest in the sciences was based on a proven statistics or survey, the UNESCO Regional Director said: “in the UN system that E and S in the UNESCO stands for Education and Science so we have the mandate to promote science and technology, but over the years it has declined in the subjects of science.”
One thing he was quick to say was that the problem is not only in Liberia, but is what he called “global problem”. “Even in West Africa, you find out that the West African Examinations Council (WAEC Exam) there is a decline in student passing those science subjects,” the UNESCO Regional Officer said.
Mr. Otu further said that the interest in science subjects have dropped to the point that if a school had passing record of about 100 students during public examinations, it is declining from 100 to 50, and below. According to him, as a mean of reawaking the lost interest, UNESCO saw the need to train teachers in basic science lab demonstrations; something he said will help students regain the interest.
UNESCO is seeking other donors’ support, in order to see how best they can help improve the Liberian school system when it come to the science. Mr. Otu indicated that since the Liberian government cannot afford to provide standard lab for the schools.
“We will provide micro science kits to the schools that are participating this training and when we get funding and corporation with the Liberian we will extend the provision of the micro science kits to other institutions in Liberia,” the UNESCO Regional Officer explained.
Also speaking were some of the participants who praised UNESCO for the training opportunity and pleaded with them to more of such trainings as means of helping Liberian kids. Mr. David Taigbailee, Natural Science Specialist at the Kakata Ural Teachers Training Institute (KRTTI) outside Monrovia said, “refresher trainings are very good for teachers because it helps teachers to present the right lectures to students. You cannot give what you don’t have.”
The UNESCO training workshop for some 60 science teachers in Liberia, which is being coordinated by UNESCO Liberia office, ended in Monrovia on Friday, April 19, 2019.