The Superintendent of the Monrovia Consolidated School System, Benjamin A. Jacobs, has indicated that many children are going to school hungry. He alerted that school going children are appearing in classrooms without eating at home, which he said is causing serious problems, particularly the difficulty of keeping the unfed students focused on learning.
“No one can learn on an empty stomach, especially the little ones,” said Supt. Jacobs, as he advocated for establishing a school feeding program for Liberian students. He recommended that a school feeding program is necessary if students are expected to stay in school, adding, “We can’t have kids going to school without eating something during the morning hours.”
Addressing reporters at the Ministry of Information’s regular press briefing in Monrovia yesterday, Supt. Jacobs said the school feeding program will help boost the learning process for the children to be better prepared for the future.
“We really need such a program for our children because many of them will come to school in the morning hungry and weak, and cannot respond to their teachers’ questions. Many of them will not ask questions or will boycott school,” he warned.
On related issues, the MCSS Superintendent confirmed that “the three shifts school day – morning, evening and night -have been very helpful in reducing overcrowding in the classrooms as well as separating older late starters from among the children, which sometimes make it difficult for the younger ones to learn.”
“We have also made some gains in training our teachers, cleaning the pay roll, and revamping some of our schools in order to improve learning conditions for the students,” said Jacobs.
Supt. Jacobs, however, told reporters at the briefing that residents living around some MCSS school facilities are causing serious sanitation problems for the schools.
He reported that residents without toilet facilities throw plastic bags of feces and used sanitary items into the campuses, which he described as a “complete embarrassment to students and administrators.”
On the issue of erosion affecting D. Tweh High School, Supt. Jacobs said the MCSS does not have the financial capacity to handle the matter, only government.