Public schools across the country have been ordered close ahead of a plan go slow by both public and civil servants-this include public schools’ teachers.
The government through the Ministry of Education ordered the closure of all public schools here as of December 13, 2019, a pronouncement that have left private schools’ operators panicking and thinking to do likewise for the safety of their students.A recent demonstration by public schools’ students ended up in a bloody clash with some private schools’ students when police fired tear gas canisters to disperse the students.
A statement from the Ministry of Education shared on social media, said the government’s decision to close all public schools is predicated upon the pronouncement made by the National Teachers Association of Liberia (NTAL) in conjunction with the Monrovia Consolidated School System Teachers Association (MCSSTA’s) proposed stay home action as of December 16.
Private schools here might be affected by the planned action of the public school teachers, as lot of panicking parents and guardians may not want to risk sending their kids to school while public school students are out of school.
Public school students have in past times vented anger against their counterparts in private schools for not showing solidarity when public school teachers abandoned classes, most often leading to tussles and disruption of normal academic activities on the private school campuses.
Earlier this year, another go – slow by public school teachers in demand of their salaries prompted mass street protests by public school students to claim government’s attention over their teachers’ absence in class and to settle the salaries issue.
The protests extended to private school campuses, and police used teargas canisters against kids who had blocked President George Manneh Weah’s motorcade in hope of hearing from him concerning their demand for their teachers’ salaries payments.
The public school teachers’ plan to stage a go – slow comes ahead of the December 30 mass protest planned against President Weah’s regime by the Council of Patriots (COP), the same group that staged the June 7 protest here this year.
The Ministry of Education says it is cognizant of the fact that additional five instructional days will be missing, adding that the days will be added when schools resume 3 January 2020 for 3rd, 4th and 5th periods, respectively.
The Ministry adds that in protection of the interest of students and children who will be affected adversely by the teachers’ stay away action and who shall be most at risk in the event of any unforeseen situations counterproductive to peace, it is resolved to close all public schools across the country.By Winston W. Parley