Regular classes at the J. W. Pearson Kindergarten and Elementary School in Carey Street, Central Monrovia were disrupted Monday, 13 June and pupils asked out due the government-run institution’s inability to pay rental to proprietor of the building.
The pupils predominantly between ages three and five, staged a road block at the intersection of Carey and Johnson Streets opposite their school building, demanding their rights to education. The chairperson for the Parents-Teachers Association of the school, Mr. Bowan Doe said, for the past two weeks the kids had been going at the campus only to see the gate to the school building perpetually locked.
r. Doe said when inquired, the school administration told him the proprietress of the building locked the premises because the Government of Liberia has allegedly refused to pay her rental. He said the proprietress whose identity was not disclosed, claims the government was indebted to her for 10 years, but she was demanding only two years’ money in order to have the facility reopened after which she would sit with the authorities to discuss how the balance rental would be paid.
Mr. Doe regretted that pupils of a public institution would be throng out of classes while their colleagues enrolled in private schools were attending regular classes just because the state is unable to pay rental for a building it has using for the past 10 years.
He said members of the PTA in collaboration with the school administration wrote an official letter to the Ministry of Education on the matter, and authorities at the ministry promised to have held discussions with the proprietress of the building, but nothing has materialized, so the only option was to mobilize the kids in the streets to draw the attention of the Government of Liberia.
No member of the school administration was available for comment, and when this paper contracted the director for communication at the Ministry of Education Rev. J. Maxime Bleetahn via mobile phone Tuesday, his phone rang endless without response up to press time.
By Bridgett Milton-Editing Jonathan Browne