As the post Ebola recovery process remains cardinal to government and international partners, an international foundation has jumped-started the effort to raise the standard of education in Liberia.
Annie T. Doe Memorial Foundation, a U.S. based not for profit organization last Tuesday inaugurated the first modern, free school in Liberia’s second city of Buchanan, Grand Bassa County.
The primary school, intended to provide quality education to less fortunate community children in the Sugar Cane Farm community, opens its doors for the first time to scores of underprivileged and possibly Ebola affected children.
Annie T. Doe Memorial Academy established in 2011 by Saya Doe Sio, a certified Public Accountant, began academic 2014/2015 with one kindergarten and two first grade classes with at least four “highly qualified” teachers.
The intent of having just three classes at the moment, Madam Doe Sio explained, “Is to brew our own students in order to fit in our curriculum already approved by the Ministry of Education.
“We have seventy five students at the moment, 25 in each class and the recruitment exercise was based on a child per household. We chose one student per house through a well organized vetting process because we feel that every underprivileged child must have access to quality primary education,” Madam Doe Sio pointed out.
On the motive behind the foundation’s engagement in primary education, Madam Doe Sio stressed on the importance of developing children’s minds at an early stage, adding; “When children receive a quality foundation in their educational sojourn, the future is extremely bright because future challenges will already have roots in their minds that will certainly guide them along the way.
“Liberia should not be labeled as an EBOLA regime but remembered by community crusaders, like the late Annie T. Doe, a missionary of great virtue whose dream to educate Liberia and Africa’s children is being realized through the Annie T. Doe Memorial Academy today in Buchanan.”
During the opening, less fortunate children expressed delight in the foundation’s effort to “restore hope” for their future through the establishment of the school.
Parents could not hold back their enthusiasm, indicating that the “school satisfied our quest when we were in search of where to send our children for better education after Ebola damaged our plans and savings,” Mrs. Freeman, a mother of one of the kids joyfully told reporters Tuesday.
The foundation and partners on Monday distributed uniforms, copybooks and bags among other essential materials to the children to enhance their learning experience.
Founded in 2011 by Saya Doe Sio, CPA, PMP, MBA, in honor of her late mother and to give back to Liberia, her native land, the dream was awakened when Saya visited Liberia in December, 2010 from the U.S.
The foundation is supported by individuals in the USA, mainly residing in Charlotte, North Carolina, inspired with a vision to provide free primary education to underserved children, free women’s empowerment programs and basic healthcare services.
It is built on a 6,000 square foot plot of land on the compound where Saya was born and raised and it has the capacity to educate up to 300 students up to 6 grade.
Students’ ages range from 5 to 13 years, majority of whom have never been to school since birth. Sixty percent of the population comprises girls while boys’ make up the remaining 40%, according to the administrator.
The foundation is appealing for assistance from local and international communities to sustain the school, pay teachers, support students, computer programs and other educational activities.