The President signs the Education Reform Act, Liberia

Without being flippant about a serious event, here are some photos of the President actually putting pen to the Act. This is how the grand lady enacts laws! You can see that she takes the following important steps:

1. check that the pen is a suitable writing implement (Hmm no gold fountain pen – I’m disappointed),

2. write something to be sure the pen works,

3. check the wrist watch to get the right time and date; and finally,

4. add the autograph! An act becomes a law. 8th August 2011

(Apologies for the incorrect focus – I was forced to hold the camera above the crowd and just shoot, so most of the images do not have the President in focus.)

There are some who might suggest that the signing of the new Education Reform Act on 8th August 2011 was just another election-related ploy, but there are some worthy components within it which if implemented could benefit the Liberian education system. The biggest plus of the Act is that it devolves a lot of responsibility for education matters to the County level, and eventually even to the Districts. Anyway, my policy is not to delve into Liberian policy and politics in this blog. What I really wanted to do was to add a few photos from the signing event which I attended. Unfortunately, I cannot post video here, because I recorded an incredible young man singing with the school choir. The song, “That’s the sound of victory” was inspiring.

A personal observation: the Lady is strong! I don’t know how well I’d stand up to her gruelling schedule. She sits through events and listens to speech after speech, and sometimes she must be as bored as bored. But when its her turn to respond, she’s as sharp as a tack. She refers to previous speakers comments, she makes jokes, she gives sharp messages, and she’s as quick-witted as ever.

Now let’s watch the implementation of the Act…

Spruicing up Monrovia, Liberia

I am so used to seeing the small stalls, crazy yellow taxis, and the chaos of Duala and Red Light market areas, that the recent developments in Monrovia are a pleasant surprise which almost passed without notice. There is a new one-way road movement in the central area, newly painted zebra-crossings, new road-signs, and even street signs in Sinkor! Something is in the air!! Here are a few shots snapped from the vehicle window but I hope it gives you the impression that things are moving “small, small” in the big city.

Perhaps it took the ‘birds’ eye view’ I got from the new 8 storey office building for me to recognise the progress being made, because from the 5th floor it was great to see the new buildings on the horizon. The road infrastructure is being tidied up and some new forms of public transport are emerging…this is my favourite! 🙂

In keeping with the Liberian flag theme of my last post, this photo incorporates the flag into the billboard message from the President of the Republic, “Liberia will Rise Again!”. Its a sentiment of hope that might be realised if the country can pass through the forth-coming election smoothly.