Learning conditions for school children in Grand Cape Mount County remain ‘unbearable’ as physical structures hosting them are either dilapidated or in total disrepair.
Students at the Solo Kenneh Public School in Kpeneji Town, Garwula District, explained their ordeal to reporters recently, describing the poor state of their school building and teaching system.
The school is located in a small Town Hall constructed in 2005. It was provided to the community by the Ministry of Education for educational purposes.
According to the students, there are only four teachers running the affairs of the elementary school while three are on fulltime government salary with the other being a volunteer dedicated to serving his community.
When our reporter visited Mr. Darius M. Kanneh, the only volunteer teacher, disclosed that the school is faced with challenges ranging from “poor seating capacity, a lack of stationary and better environment for quality learning.”
Kanneh, a high school graduate, indicated that the building being used is not conducive environment for students to learn, and as such, many students stay away from school; especially during the Rainy Season.
He noted that learning materials are not forthcoming from central government, “forcing teachers to use their own resources to teach the children.”
Mr. Kanneh said: “The school has about 300 students, but most of them are dropping out because of the condition here. This building has no window and classes are divided by used and unwanted mats provided by the community.
Amongst the four teachers I am the only one that stays fulltime with the children, the students are witnesses.”
Little Varney Kiazolu, believed to be 10 years old, told the Daily Observer that he wants to learn but his school’s condition does not make him happy to do so.
“Sometimes we come to school and meet no teachers; so we spend all our day playing in the dirt. I really want this place to be in good condition so that we can be like other children I see on television. I feel so sorry for us because if we don’t have teachers, our parents will ask us to go on the farm. I don’t like that, but what can I do?” little Kiazolu asked.
When asked what he wants to be when he finishes school, he quickly responded; “I want to be a doctor because I like doctors when my mother takes me to the hospital.”
However, the ordeal as expressed by the students and their teacher, confirmed President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s statement that “Liberia’s education system is in a mess,” however, what has the Unity Party-led government done to address the “messy” condition remains the unanswered question on the minds of many Liberians.