By Thomas Domah/Nimba County
Several public and private schools in Ganta, Nimba County have been collecting over 30 thousand Liberian Dollars each from students as graduation fees.
The Government of Liberia had mandated public schools to collect only five thousand Liberian dollars for graduation fees, but they are collecting ten (10) thousand Liberian dollars instead, while private schools charge as exorbitantly as LRD30,000 per student for graduation.
In Ganta, over ten private schools are involved in such collection, while four public schools in the commercial district asked students to pay LRD10,000 each.
Speaking to reporters in Ganta, the Principal of St. Lawrence Catholic High School, Mr. Stephen A. Wamah, said the administration collected ten thousand Liberian dollars from each student.
He said the school graduated 98 students over the weekend with each of the candidates paying ten thousand Liberian Dollars, totaling LRD980,000. At Excellence Faith Academy High School, LRD 16,500 was collected from 22 students, totaling 330,000 LRD.
This paper gathers that Excellence Faith Academy High School has among its staff three teachers with BSc Degrees, including Principal Paye Fassou Gbamie. Seven of the teachers are Associate (AA) Degree holders and seven of them carry ‘C’ Certificates.
Ganta United Methodist School graduated 120 students, with each of them asked to pay LRD 22,500, according to the school’s Principal, Rev. James Y. Korlorblee. Rev. Korlorblee said the administration met with parents, and they agreed on the amount charged per candidate.
But some parents, who spoke to this paper, alleged they actually paid LRD30,000 for each graduate, rather than 22,500, as claimed by Principal Korlorblee.
Youth Academy High School Principal announced the collection of LRD17,000 from each student for graduation that is scheduled for next month.
However, some of the students said because of the high fees, they would not attend the graduation ceremony.
Several parents, including Emmanuel Dolo and Janet Paye, expressed disappointment and frustration with the school system in Ganta.
According to them, in the past schools observed strict regulation regarding fees, compared to present, when schools have become purely business, noting that even students expelled for indiscipline behaviors would enroll in another school without any academic record presented to school administration.
They said in the past, school administrators demanded records from previous schools before admitting students.
When contacted via mobile phone, District Educational Officers Abel Legay and Timothy Karlee did not respond. Editing by Jonathan Browne