Citizens of Zontuo in electoral district#7, Nimba County say they are sriously worried over the abanoment of the Seventh Day Advantist (SDA) Mission School in the county by the SDA Church in Liberia, leaving the entire campus to be comsumed by bushes and low land grass.
Our reporter, who visited the SDA Mission School Campus over the weekend, gathers the mission which was priror to the Liberian Civil War opened to the public as a boarding institution for both male and female students, has been completely abandoned.
Some residents of Zontuo lament they have made frantic efforts aimed at getting the SDA authotirties to reopen the school, but to no avail.They recalled that the mission, which was established in 1976 by missionaries from the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Liberia, provided education to over 500 students, but no longer operates or serves the purpose for which it was founded.
Elder Jerry Dahn, explains the mission accomodated day students from surrounding towns and villages in the county.He discloses the land on which the mission operated was given to the SDA Mission Liberia by the people of Zontuo for development purpose free of charge prior to the civil crisis.
Elder Dahn continues that the mission operated both elementay and junior high divisions, was among some of the best SDA Mission schools in Liberia.He says since the civil crisis ended in the country, they had sought clarification from the SDA Liberia authorities whether the church is still interested in reopening the mission school or not, which would give right to the citizens to seek assistance elsewhere to restart the mission, but are yet to get an official response from SDA Liberia.
He adds that the people Zontuo want urgent intervention of the Ministry of Education which has oversight of all educational matters in the country to authorize them to administer the affairs of the abandoned mission to meet the educational needs of youth of the area, some of whom are being constrained to travel distances to acquire junior high education.
The campus contains dozens of strucures, but they need serious repairs, including roofs. The main road leading to the mission is overwhelmed by bushes.When this paper contacted local officials of the SDA Church in Nimba, they declined to comment, but instead, directed this reporter to seek redress from central office in Monrovia.
Efforts by this paper to get word from authorities of the SDA Lberia offices situated in Old Road proved fruitless as staff there assert their boses were not available to speak to the issue.
By Emmanuel Mondaye from Zontuo, Nimba County–Editing by Jonathan Browne