Partial view of the BWI cafeteria auditorium under renovation and Mr. Alexander M. Massey
The Principal of the Booker Washington Institute or BWI in Kakata, Margibi County, Alexander M. Massey, has outlined several development at the institution. Speaking to the NewDawn Tuesday, 29 April on the main campus of the BWI, Mr. Massey said Administration has embarked on the renovation of the auditorium and the campus clinic ahead of the Founder’s Day celebration scheduled for June 28, 2014. He said though funding remains a challenge, but with the little funding available, the administration has just completed the renovation of the dining hall.
He said the main focus is to have the campus completely renovated for the Founder’s Day, assuming that the auditorium will be completed in the first or second week in June to be followed by the clinic. Mr. Massey also spoke of plan of BWI becoming a board, adding that he has been having problems with people understanding the rationale for this decision.
According to him, the charter of the school says that the institution was founded as a boarding school in 1929, maintaining that prior to the civil crisis in Liberia, BWI was mainly a boarding school though there were day students.
He said the issue was never raised at the time but it was during the post-civil war that students were offered the choice of whether to live on or off campus. He said many confused young people chose to live off campus because they want freedom to do what they want to do to peruse the various places of entertainment at the detriment of their studies.
Giving the significance of a boarding school, he said if a student lives together with a group of other students for four years, the experience that student gets is unparalleled, explaining that the BWI Administration wants to create a premium learning environment for students and it can only be effective if the administration has total control over the student population.
The Principal said it is not conducive for a kid who is 14-years to live off campus while the school has dormitories that contain indoor bathrooms and other facilities. He said boarding students are currently taking 100% advantage of a tutorial program instituted by the administration, adding that some of the day students are not benefiting because of the fact that they live off the campus.
He noted that last semester, the administration noticed that lots of students had problems with the sciences and as such they (administration) have deemed it necessary to institute the program where instructors will devote their times during the evening hours to provide tutorial in Chemistry, Math, Biology and Physics.
He averred that among a total of 1,400 students enrolled, 61 went under roll which is very insignificant, thus prompting the need for a controlled learning environment to help the students improve in their courses. He said among the 1,400 students, 50% constitutes the day students and 50% is in dormitories.
The BWI Boss said when he took over as Principal, 75% of the students were living off campus as most of them complain that the dormitory life was undesirable because the area was dirty and overcrowded, but the situation has improved.
Another issue he talked about is increment of fees at the institution which he said day students yearly increment is 6,000 LD and 10,000 LD for boarding students, clarifying that the school fees are not paid in United States Dollars.