Monrovia — In an effort to build a more prosperous society as the country and the world at large grapple with increasing economic hardship, a Liberian educator has called on government agencies and parents, as well as stakeholders, to place primary emphasis on education at various levels.

To consolidate efforts to make education a priority issue, Madam Lucia B.T. Paigai, a former District Education Officer of Montserrado County, called on the Government of Liberia (GoL) through the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MGCSP) to play a vital role in removing children involved in street vending during school hours from the streets.

Madam Paigai noted that education is of great importance for the growth and development of a nation and therefore all stakeholders including the government and parents should give it priority.

The Liberian educator made the comments while serving as the keynote speaker at the 13th graduation of the Covenant Outreach School System in Painesville, outside Monrovia. She spoke on the topic: “Education is the basis of national development.”

“If we want the best for our children, all hands must be on deck. The Government of Liberia, through the Ministry of Gender Affairs, must play an important role in removing our children from street trading during school hours,” said the guest speaker.

Madam Lucia Paigai, who is also the former Chairperson of Counseling at the faith-based African Methodist Episcopal University (AMEU), urged parents to do their part by doing everything possible to send their children to school despite economic hardship.

“Parents should do everything they can to send their children to school until they get a college degree. Times have changed; if you want your child to be very popular in the world, be firm and educate your child. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that times are tough, but when parents make their children’s education a priority and ask for God’s intervention, they will succeed,” she stated.

“Parents should stop sending their children or their relatives’ children to the streets as market vendors. If you want your child to advance in business, make sure he or she is educated for a better business in the future. Street trading can only go so far and not further with limited or no education,” advised Madam Paigai, an early childhood education expert.

At the graduation of the 13th batch of Covenant students, she commended the teaching and administrative staff of the institution for their compassion, love and compassion towards the field of education, noting that it is a very sensitive profession that does not require money but is highly rewarding.

“Teachers need to make inferences from a child’s behavior, that is, gather information from evidence, use observation and experience to arrive at a logical conclusion. You probably practice inference every day by watching her or him make faces when presented with a new food that he/she doesn’t like. Teachers must be observant because there are many areas in a child’s development that require attention; the problems are as follows: physical, emotions, language, social and others,” he explained.

“The work of a teacher is very difficult, let’s cooperate with our teachers and give them all our support. May God bless you teachers, may He continue to strengthen you as you impart knowledge to the younger generation,” urged Madam Paigai.

She cautioned the graduates against complacency, thus urging them to strive for the highest heights during their studies.

“Today’s graduation is just the beginning, just a drop in the hat. Even so, I must congratulate you on this achievement; keep up the good work you’ve started until you reach the finish line. God will guide you throughout your educational journey journey. Listen to your parents so you can have a happy life and your days on earth will be long and happy. Don’t let peer pressure destroy you.”