Press Releases

Bribery In Our School System Is Treasonable...Madame Ruth Caesar

Montserrado County, Liberia
19 September, 2008
Categorized as pertaining to: Hearings

The practice of receiving bribes in cash and kind from students and agreeable parents is a crime that should be regarded as treason to the state, Madame Ruth G. Caesar has said.

Madame Caesar, deputy director for operation of the National Commission for Disarmament, Demobilization, Rehabilitation and Reintegration urged the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Liberia (TRC) to undertake special advocacy and measures to halt the "disgraceful, degrading, and wicked practices of school teachers from the elementary to college levels of the country's school system.

She said the practice is deliberately encouraging under achievement and corruption of students by encouraging them to engage in unwholesome activities that abuse their legal and human rights. She said the practice rob them of dignity as well as robbing the country of its future leaders.

Madame Caesar was delivering the keynote address Friday at the opening of Liberia's Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) National Consultative Conference for Women at the Centennial Memorial Pavilion in Monrovia.

"As women education is human rights, the women of Liberia call upon this body to use its mandate to ensure that this matter is looked into and addressed. This practice of receiving bribes in cash and kind from students and agreeable parents from the elementary to the college levels is a crime that should be regarded as treason to the state and all school systems are involved," she said.

She suggested literacy programmes as a must toward women empowerment with special programmes developed to pay attention to disadvantaged "teen girls."

Mrs. Caesar recommended that special attention be paid to female ex-combatants and child soldiers who have not yet accessed any rehabilitation trainings since its commencement in 2004 and ensure their participation as war affected persons in all available programmes.

She called for advocacy not only for training but marketability of skills through self employment or within the private and public sectors. Mrs. Caesar said job opportunities made as a peace promotion measure must be a major recommendation of the TRC.

She said the TRC must galvanize support through call for commitment to women, increasing the participation of women in decision and policy making at all levels of governance.

Mrs. Caesar told the commission to ensure that a directory of women peace promoters, advocates negotiators and networks be published to ensure women active and continuous engagement in the process. The TRC, she said must advocate for special care and services for victims suffering from torture, sexual and other kinds of abuses.

The deputy NCDDRR boss also urged the TRC to seek support for activities that promote the protection of women from violence especially gender-based violence which has been on the increased since the ending of the conflict in 2003.

The National Conference for Women adopted a final set of recommendations to be forwarded to the TRC for inclusion in the commission's final report. The recommendations focused on reparation, amnesty, prosecution and various kinds of institutional reforms.

Funded by Women's Campaign International (WCI), the women's project is organized by the TRC Women and Gender Committee headed by Commissioner Massa A. Washington.

WCI is an organization that works throughout the world to remove political, social and economic obstacles that limit women's active involvement in decision-making processes. WCI's programs increase the number of female elected officials, ensure their effectiveness once elected, and build the capacity of advocacy and civil society organizations to improve the lot of women and their families. The organization is based in Philadelphia, PA, the United States of America.

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