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Govt. announces adjustments in the school calendar

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In the wake of the resurgence of the coronavirus in the country, the Ministry of Education has announced adjustments in the school calendar for academic 2020/2021.

Deputy Education Minister for planning, research, and development, Alton Kesselly, said the adjustment in the calendar is to enable the Ministry to be responsive to the challenges the country now faces as a result of the pandemic.

Speaking at the Ministry of Information regular press briefing on Thursday, July 1, 2021, in Monrovia, he said early childhood education that includes nursery, ABC, K1 and K2 are to conduct assessment exams and close on or before July 10, 2021, while basic education that covers grade 1-9 will condense the 5th and 6th making periods with key and critical content that are appropriate and necessary for absorption, or for fair assessment and achievement.

At the same time Minister Kesselly said Grade 3 assessment test will begin Monday, July 12, 2021, while Liberia primary school certificate examination (LPSC) for grade 6 will be administered from Tuesday, July 13, 2021, to Wednesday, July 14, 2021.

Also, the Liberia junior high school certificate exam (LJHSCE) for grade 9th begins from July 15 and ends on July 16, 2021. The Deputy Education boss added that all lower and upper basic (grade 1 to 9) school final exams must be administered on Wednesday, August 10, 2021.

During the briefing, he also disclosed that all senior secondary school (grade 10th and 11th) final exams will commence on Monday, September 27, thru Thursday, September 30, 2021.

Importantly, both senior and secondary school (12th grade) final examinations are to be administered beginning Wednesday, September 1st, to Thursday, September 7th, 2021. All senior secondary schools (grade 10th to 12th) are to conduct classes until September 30, 2021.

Meanwhile, Deputy Minister Kesselly said the decision on reopening of schools for the next academic year will be made public depending on the prevailing covid-19 variant as well as advice from the Ministry of Health and the National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL).

He reminded school administrators, proprietresses, principal association, national teachers association of Liberia (NTAL), private school secretariat, and all education stakeholders as well as the public, that the present changes in the 2020/2021 academic calendar are intended to help the national government combat and curtail further spread of the deadly coronavirus, which poses a serious threat to health and national security.

However, he urged school authorities to be in full compliance with the adjusted schedules and absorb the required lessons within the national curriculum where necessary and appropriate, for the growth and sustainability of the nation’s human capacity.

Minister Kesselly reiterated the Ministry’s mandate to school administrators to suspend graduation exercises, social activities (field trips, football games, gala day program, parade, queen and king contest) until further notice from the ministries of Health and NPHIL.

He encourages full compliance in the fight against covid- 19 thereby observing the preventive measure proscribe by the ministry of health, adding that it must be taken seriously by all Liberians. By Kruah Thompson (Intern), Editing by Jonathan Browne

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