As of yesterday, young girls and women throughout Liberia who desire to pursue quality education up to high school level are being provided the privilege to do so free of charge, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf announced yesterday in her State of the Nation Address.
President Sirleaf said her government had on several occasions demanded quality education, but the process had suffered a series of setbacks as evidenced by the mass failure of Liberian students in exams administered by the University of Liberia and that of the West African Examination Council (WAEC).
Based on a number of observations in the process, she announced ‘free education’ for girls, but this privilege remained at the primary and secondary levels of education.
At the same time, the President has called for an increase in student enrollment while maintaining that the February 2 date for resumption of classes remains in spite of mixed reactions from the public.
To support the President’s pronouncement, the Ministry of Education (MOE) had earlier announced that basic education (grades 1-9) will be free of charge in all government-owned schools. This free education applies to both boys and girls.
Meanwhile at the secondary school level (grades 10-12), registration fees are being reduced to the minimum amount of L$700. This amount includes maintenance, activity and tuition fees.
As for the fee to be paid to the West African Examination Council (WAEC), the MOE said the fee will be determined by the National Monrovia Head Office.
Other fees will be determined by the Parent teachers’ Association (PTA) of individual schools, which will include fees for identification card, PE T-shirts, etc.
Article 58 states: “The President shall, on the fourth working Monday in January of each year, present the administration’s legislative program for the ensuing session, and shall once a year report to the Legislature on the state of the Republic. In presenting the economic condition of the Republic, the report shall cover expenditure as well as income.”