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House Rent Jumps in Bong Mines

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In the wake of the ongoing relocation of occupants of the former Bong Mining Company buildings, house owners in the Bong Mines area have hiked house rents to astronomical heights.

Speaking in an interview with the Liberia News Agency in Bong Mines Monday,  Pastor Joseph Abu said rent for rooms that previously cost about L$200 has now jumped to around US$15 as nearly a thousand families seek relocation.

A fortnight ago, the Liberian government started paying relocation packages to some 828 family heads to leave houses owned by the former Bong Mining Company for turn over to its successor the China Union Investment.

Each family head is receiving US$500 to vacate the buildings. Pastor Abu said the relocation process has led to a serious shortage of homes and hence the rise in rent across the Bong Mines area. He said the situation is growing grave as some of those relocated are now sleeping in makeshift structures around Bong Mines town.

It can be recalled that the government and China Union entered into a 25-year Mineral Development Agreement in 2008, under which government is required to turn over all former Bong Mining Company property, including the housing units, to the China Union Investment Company. /LINA reports

Gov’t Pays 80% of Teachers Nationwide

The Liberian Government pays more than 80 percent of teachers in Gbarpolu, Grand Gedeh, Grand Kru and Rivercess counties, and the Monrovia Consolidated School System, according to an Education Ministry report-LINA reports.

The report, however, indicated that in the country as a whole, about 60 percent of teachers get their salaries from the government. The report named the counties where the government pays the lowest percentage of teachers’ salaries as Montserrado, 27.7 percent, Margibi 44 percent, Grand Bassa 44.7 percent and Bomi 56.4 percent.

The report further pointed out that private institutions are the most common source of teachers’ salaries in these counties, noting that in Montserrado County more than 50 percent of teachers get their salaries from private institutions. The report also disclosed that almost 10 percent of teachers in Grand Bassa, Lofa and Bomi Counties receive their salaries from households.

It indicated that nationally, 10.1 percent of primary school teachers in Liberia are volunteers and that in seven counties over 10 percent of primary school teachers are volunteers. The report did not name the counties.

About 75% of Schools Government-owned

The majority of schools in Liberia are government-owned, with private schools accounting for just over 25 percent of all academic institutions in Liberia, according to a Ministry of Education report.

The report revealed that of the 2,849 school units captured in its annual school census in 2013, majority is based in Nimba, Montserrado, Bong and Lofa counties, proportionate to the populations of these counties. It also disclosed that the majority of schools in Liberia operate early childhood education  and primary level sections, with only 63 schools not operating either of these sections.

The report pointed out that in comparison, only 776 schools deliver secondary instruction, and it is worth noting, that for the purpose of 2013 year annual census effort, early childhood education was recorded only in schools which also offer primary and secondary education. The report stressed that for planning purposes, a school represents a building or an entity as opposed to the level of schooling under operation. / LINA reports

NPP Bong Chairmanship Rejected

Mark Dorwee has rejected his post as Chairman of the National Patriotic Party Bong County Youth branch. Mr. Dorwee told our Bong County correspondent that he was elected in his absence at the recent NPP convention that took place in Gbarnga.

He added that he was shocked upon receiving congratulatory messages from some of his colleagues, who informed him that he had been elected as the Chairman of the NPP youth wing of Bong County.

Mr. Dorwee has described his election as unconstitutional, expressing the need for the right NPP partisans to guarantee him such position. He said while it  was true that NPP was his mother party, he was currently a member the ruling Unity Party, and unprepared to turn his back at the UP.

Some senior members of the party, including Representative George Mulbah and Representative James Biney, have been calling for a change in leadership; accusing the Party’s political leader, Senator Jewel Howard-Taylor and Chairman Theophilus Gould of running the party like their personal property.

Rep. Paye Eyes Senatorial Race?

A Bong County Representative has refused to rule out contesting in the 2014 special senatorial election. District # 4 Representative Lester M. Paye revealed that his chances of contesting the 2014 senatorial election remained high, based on the Support of his citizens. Rep. Paye said he would not hesitate to contest the 2014 special election, if he’s asked by his people.

In recent times, some citizens of Panta and Zota Districts were in consultations with their representative to contest the special election reportedly based on the level of work, they claimed, Paye has done for the electoral district.

When quizzed on whether he wouldn’t dash the hope of AugustusFlomo- a man many believe was being heavily supported by the district #4 lawmaker. Rep. Paye was also quick to point out that though he was certain to submit to the wishes of his people, he was not at this time thinking about the senatorial seat.

Representative Paye said he was rather thinking about leaving a legacy in the district, and focused on doing everything possible for the district and not the senatorial seat at this point in time.

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