Govt. abandons public school in Gbololu, Pleebo
By Patrick N. Mensah, Maryland County
Traditional leaders of Gbololu town, electoral district#2, Maryland County are seeking financial assistance from the Ministry of Education and heads of concession companies operating in the district to recondition the only public school in the district.
The school is situated on the outskirts of Pleebo, electoral district#2. Gbololu is one of the native towns that are badly affected by the operations of Marylànd Oil Palm Plantation (MOPP) in Pleebo Sodoken District, Maryland County.
General Town Chief Jacob C. Nemo told reporters that since the school was established in 1976 by the first concession company that operated in the district, its condition these days isn’t encouraging.
He said the school has been allegedly abandoned by the Ministry of Education and the current palm oil company operating there, noting that its poses serious setback to the learning environment, particularly for employees’ children.
He disclosed that since the past academic years, school administrations had complained of constraints they are faced with.
He pointed to lack of instructional materials, funds to pay volunteer teachers, staff residence, amongst others as reasons behind the abandonment of the school.
The traditional leaders mentioned that the school had been helpful because of the distance from the town to the city, so many employees of the Maryland Oil Palm Plantation and residents of the town were sending their kids to the school but due to its deplorable condition, many students are refusing to attend the institution.
“Let me appreciate you the journalists for coming as far as Gbololu to know the situation we are going through here, since this situation of concession companies business came about in this district, we the native people whose towns are badly affected, are really not benefitting anything much from these companies”, Mr. Nemo disclosed.
“Just imagine, this school in question was built by Degoree, the first oil palm company that was operating here before MOPP but since the company left and MOPP took over our land, nothing has been done so far to recondition this school.
The traditional leaders called on Concession Company operating in the district and the local government officials, including the Ministry of Education to help renovate the building to enable a better learning environment for the children.
However, this paper has gathered that in the concession agreement signed by MOPP and the government in 2021, the company is supposed to build one elementary school for every three kilometers and a secondary school at its main location in the developed area.
Also, the company is supposed to provide a nursery school. All of these should be free of charge for employees’ dependents. The company is supposed to provide access to surrounding community dwellers for reasonable price. Government officials assigned to work in the developed area are also entitled to free education under Section 12 of the concession agreement.
But this paper also gathered that such commitments are yet to be achieved by the company, leaving employees’ children to attend various nursery, elementary, junior and senior high schools in the district.
Meanwhile, when this paper tried contacting the District Education Officer for Pleebo, and the Public Relations Officer of the company, their respective phones rang endlessly without response.https://thenewdawnliberia.com/school-fees-scam-busted-in-maryland/ Editing by Jonathan Browne