St. Augustine School Principal, Abe Kekula The Principal of a private school in Kakata, Margibi County has expressed annoyance at the Government of Liberia for allegedly failing to implement the rationale behind the recent closure of schools in the country.
The St. Augustine Episcopal Mission School Principal, Mr. Abe Kekula alleged that the Liberian Government announced a reform plan to transform the Liberian educational system. According to him, the transformation process, as announced by Education Minister George Warner, included the renovation of schools, as well as the employment of qualified and competent teachers, among others, are yet to be realized across the country, especially in Margibi County.
Mr. Kekula said while the Liberian Government may have had such plan, it would have been equally important and rewarding to initially include faith-based institutions in the process leading to such decision, owing to the fact that faith-based institutions were complementing government’s efforts by administering a huge portion of the Liberian educational system.
The St. Augustine’s Episcopal Mission High School principal asserted that government’s action to abruptly close schools for one month has also caused serious academic consequences to the educational system because some schools had already sent out senior students, who he expressed the belief, were not adequately prepared to be considered high school graduates.
He indicayed further that some of these students sat the recent West African Examination Council (WAEC) re-sitter exams as private candidates – something, he described as counterproductive to government’s quest for a total reform of the already messy educational system of the country.
Kekula, however, underscored the need for the Liberian Government to assist faith-based institutions by providing subsidies and also extending the on-going distribution of text books among public schools to private schools.
He recommended the need for the government to buttress the efforts of private schools-either by taking up the obligation of paying some salaries their staff or giving subsidies, expressing the belief that such initiative will compare private schools to scale down tuition fees and enable more parents to afford the fees. Kekula further appealed to the government to create one syllable for the Ministry of Education and West African Examinations Council (WAEC) for 9th and 12th graders in order to avoid mass failure of Liberian students in future WAEC examinations, noting “Liberia is the only country in the West African region that has separate syllables for WACE candidates.” The Liberian educator speaking with the New Dawn recently in Margibi County attributed the mass failure of Liberian students in previous WAEC examinations to the existence of separate syllables in the Liberian school system, something according to him, that over burdens the minds of the students.
By Ramsey N. Singbeh, Jr. from Margibi – Edited by George Barpeen