A school complex constructed by local contractors in Garzon Community, Careysburg district, Montserrado County has been described by the World Bank office here as a boost to the community with an estimated over 3,500 inhabitants, including a school age population of more than 1,500 kids.
The Garzon Basic Education School Complex constructed in Montserrado District One, was on Wednesday, September 16 dedicated by the Ministry of Education under a Global Partnership for Education grant of over US$500,000 awarded the local contractors.
Garzon Parents Teachers Association Chair, Moses M.D. Pewu, said at the dedication that some of parents in the community are working with Firestone Plantations in neighboring Margibi County and they stand high risk of their kids being thrown out of company schools if they are retired.
The Garzon Public school was constructed by Madam Rema Fawaz and her Vertu Humanitarian and Construction Incorporated. The building contains 12 classrooms, staff quarters, two sets -10 cubicles flush toilets with hand washing facilities for girls and boys, including library, multi-purpose science lab and administrative building, among others.
World Bank representative at the ceremony, Peter Darvas, described the project as “a boost for the community” and expressed hope that the community will take responsibility and support the initiative. Mr. Darvas also expressed optimism the facility will be a demonstration of how schools should operate in Liberia, urging school teachers to be passionate about school.
The Chief Contractor and head of the Construction Company that also engages in small scale mining operations, Madam Fawaz said she was grateful for the successful completion of the project and looks forward for more projects.
“I believe in working hard and accomplishing what duties I’m given,” she said, adding that she did not like taking people’s money and not doing the job. Madam Fawaz said due to the Ebola crisis here, the Garzon School Complex went for about a year and few months to be fully completed, and it is the biggest contract so far compared to other projects done or ongoing.
She promised to pay constant visits at the school and assured the administration and the community of her preparedness to provide services needed when called upon. During the dedication ceremony, Deputy Education Minister for Planning, Research and Development, Anthony Nimely, said the Global Partnership for Education grant awarded the Ministry is intended to address issues of access, inequality and quality improvement in schools regardless of location.
He said for the structure to continue in good shape, the community and students should take ownership and responsibility so that it remains intact. The deputy minister warned who-be criminals that to start to take away the light bulbs to sell them will not do any good for the school and the entire Garzon Community.
Parent Teachers Association or PTA Chair,Pewu, appealed to the Ministry of Education, and the government at large to help fence the school facility to have control over the students. He expressed fears that the students may loiter around during regular class time if the facility were not fenced.
By Winston W. Parley – Edited by Jonathan Browne