The Monrovia Consolidated School System (MCSS) has disclosed a plan to focus on a school feeding program in the coming academic year as a means of attracting more students and keeping them in school.
MCSS Superintendent, Benjamin Adolphus Jacobs, made the disclosure on Thursday at the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism (MICAT) regular Ebola Hour press briefing.
According to him, MCSS will prioritize the school feeding program to help increase students attendance at school.
“The school-feeding program in the upcoming year,” he said, “will to help boost the reflection of learning for the children at the various MCSS campuses as well as increase enrollment.”
“No one can learn on an empty stomach, especially the little ones. Many of them will come to school in the morning hungry and weak and cannot respond to their teachers, even at question time. Many of them will not ask questions and sometimes leave campus during recess and run home because of food, Mr. Jacobs stressed.
He explained that, many of the school going children were appearing in the classroom without eating anything at home, which he said was causing serious problems in keeping them focused on learning.
The MCSS Superintendent further explained that, “due to the fight against the deadly Ebola virus and the issue of breaking the transmission, his administration is hoping to run three shifts, morning, evening and night, as a mean of reducing over crowdedness in the classroom.
“We will also have Thermometers testing students and teachers on campus.”
He continued, “We are securing vehicles for the three region, Central Monrovia, Sinkor and Bushrod Island, to help in carrying any sick person, both teachers and students, for treatment. “We will have one room reserved on each campus to have the person there before hospital attention is provided.”
According to him, they will conduct workshops for teachers and students before the official opening of school and will also observe all Ebola preventive measures on campuses and will have rooms reserved for any outbreak of the disease.
He further explained, “We are training guidance counselors for most of our schools that will help to guide many of our students in their learning process. We are also hoping to construct hand-pumps on some of our campuses as a way of improving sanitation.
The MCSS Superintendent also disclosed that the counselors will be helping students who are not academically sound and will be guiding them and making sure that such students attend vocational institutions.
He disclosed that schools might open in late January or February and close in the late August or September. “We are also working on classes running from Monday to Saturday if all goes well and the Ministry of Education will come up with a position.