Bible Textbook Teacher’s Training has begun in Liberia. “We must improve the way religious education is taught in the school system of the United Methodist Church,” said Rev. Joseph T. Garkpee, Director of the Department of Christian Education of the Liberia Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church.
Speaking during the launch of the program Rev. Garkpee said the purpose of the training was to refresh the minds of Bible instructors and Sunday School teachers throughout Liberia. He said the church was not satisfied with the decline in the morals and values of Christian Education. Attributing the decline of the state of teaching to the number of unprepared and unqualified Bible Textbook teachers, Rev. Garkpee noted the long history of education in the Methodist tradition.
Reflecting on the years of the Liberian civil wars, Rev. Garkpee hailed the Vacation Bible School (VBS) program of the United Methodist Church as one of the educational opportunities offered by churches to build up the Christian faith and moral standards of many Methodists and Liberians in general.
The Publishing Team of United Methodist Church in Liberia through its Department of Christian Education launched this first in the series of Teacher Training on March 16, 2013. Also speaking at the launch, the chair of the Planning Committee of the Publishing Team, S. Edward Harmon said this was the beginning of a training series the team will undertake. He said plans are under way to decentralize the training process. The local area judicatory agencies will be involved in basic training and this will “rejuvenate the church’s moral and ethical standards through the school system.”
Mr. Harmon further called on all United Methodists across the country to embrace the training exercises saying, “This will help widen the scope of understanding and knowledge of individuals who are teaching the Bible Textbooks in our schools.”
The Facilitator, Rev. Momoh S. Kpaan also called on the Department of General Education and Ministries to ensure that Methodists who graduate from the Gbarnga School of Theology (GST) be employed within the Methodist School System. The GST professor said, this is the only way the UMC School System will have prepared and qualified teachers.
The training is sponsored by the General Board of Discipleship and Discipleship Resources International based in Nashville, Tennessee, USA.
By: Esau J. Farr