President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf yesterday dedicated the Alexander B. Cummings Model Science and Technology School in the Duport Road Community in the presence of an appreciative crowd.
In her dedication remarks, the President said for any project or investment to succeed, the environment must be safe and conducive, with confidence that the expected growth can be sustained.
This she promised her government would do in spite of the numerous placards displaying anti-government rhetoric.
She called on all Liberians, irrespective of conditions, to take advantage of the school facility, saying “Go to school because, if you are a motorbike rider, or a working person, acquisition of education is a creation of value. Therefore, you go to school. The education you acquire will sustain you and your family.”
She said the newly inaugurated school will afford the children the opportunity to understand science as the systematic study of nature, while technology makes everyone live easier and more comfortable lives.
The school is part of a new US$5.7 million PET (plastic) bottling line with education and water projects to support community progress.
“It is the only fully dedicated science and technology facility in a community of over 400,000 residents,” Paynesville City Mayor, Cyvette Gibson, said in her remarks.
The dedication of the school, she said, has opened a window of opportunity for the school going children to explore.
Mayor Gibson also expressed gratitude to President Sirleaf for diversifying the country’s education system while the school, she said, represents Liberia Coca-Cola Bottling Company’s (LCCBC’s) commitment to education and the municipality of Paynesville.”
By constructing the school, Mayor Gibson said the LCCBC management has created a visionary model that integrates instead of separating college and career preparation.
“I look forward to watching evolution of learning in this beautiful building and the revolution of learning opportunities you are leading. To every student, I look forward to seeing you catching your dreams and thriving from your experiences here at the newly dedicated Science and Technology School,” Mayor Gibson told the students in attendance.
She expressed the belief that the Model Science and Technology School will cultivate the 21st Century skills that the students need to be college and career ready, and to be lifelong learners and problem solvers.
Also speaking, the Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer of Coca-Cola Company, Alex Cummings, the school’s founder in whose honor it is named, said the school will be a high standard school that will admit students on the basis of meritocracy.
“We are going to teach the students to be earnest, to have integrity and work hard with a deep sense of responsibility. We are going to also do our best to train men and women in Science and Technology so that they can in return contribute to the development of the country,” Mr. Cummings said.
The Minister of Education, George Werner, said education is a public good and announced that his administration has up to date enrolled at least 1.5 million children into school, beginning from the pre-primary to primary with about equal gender gap.
Werner stressed the need for community members to work alongside the school’s administration to maintain the facility so that their computers and other materials are not left to the mercy of marauding intruders.
The ceremony was attended by an array of government officials including the Minister of Public Works, William Gyude Moore, Commerce’s Axel Addy, and executives of the LCCBC, among them the Chair of Equatorial Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Alfonso Libano.