Monrovia, Liberia - As the Special Educational Support Programme for Liberia National Police (LNP) women candidates comes to a close, Education Minister Dr. Joseph Korto, has urged them to prove themselves as competent as their male counterparts.
Dr. Korto made these remarks over the weekend when he visited the Stella Maris Polytechnic in Monrovia where 125 LNP female candidates are undergoing a three-month educational programme. "Gender equality means equal education," the Education Minister said, adding that they (the candidates) had a good opportunity through the crash educational programme. He advised them to take up the challenge before them and demonstrate high competent standards.
He then expressed optimism about the level of preparedness of the women to successfully undergo their final examinations and subsequent police training.
For his part, UN Police Acting Commissioner, Mr. Generaal Maritz Du Toit, thanked the government of Liberia for allowing the Ministry of Education to support such a programme and encouraged the candidates to remain focussed and committed to justify the confidence in them. "You were selected to serve and protect the people," he noted.
The Educational Support Programme for women candidates of the LNP aims at increasing female representation in the Liberia National Police, and is conducted in support of the Convention on Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and Security Council resolution 1325. UNMIL, in collaboration with the Government of Liberia, developed and started an education support programme for women between the ages of 18 and 35 who are interested in joining LNP.
The programme is aimed at ensuring that the reformed and restructured Liberia National Police has 20 per cent female representation at a minimum. Achieving this goal has been challenging because many women have been reluctant to apply. The situation has been further compounded by the high number Liberian women who lack the basic educational requirements for recruitment to the LNP.
This pilot project is designed by UNPOL/LNP in cooperation with the Ministries of Gender, Education, and Justice, West African Examinations Council and the Stella Maris Polytechnic. Successful candidates are undergoing intensive training where they have been provided with training materials, daily lunch and a monthly stipend. On 19 May 2007, the candidates will end the course and those who are successful will sit the High School examination. They will also be awarded a High School Certificate and immediately enrolled in the Police Academy.