At long last, schools across the country will resume “normal” academic activities today, Monday February 16 after rigmaroles between authorities at the Ministry of Education (MOE) and those in the first branch of government—the lawmakers in the National Legislature.
Government’s pronouncement a few weeks ago ordering the resumption of classes on February 2, did not hold when two different dates were announced.
The government, through the MOE announced earlier that the resumption of basic academic activities was to begin on Monday, January 12 with student registration followed by teacher orientation and other preparatory activities.
Thereafter, according to MOE, instruction would commence on February 2. With that pronouncement, school administrators and students were already being urged to observe strictly the Ebola preventive measures to be mounted at all school campuses.
Last year schools throughout the country were ordered closed during the second outbreak of the Ebola virus disease (EVD) that claimed thousands of lives.
The action of the government to have schools reopened came as the result of the drastic decline in the number of new Ebola cases across the country.
Authorities at the MOE released the academic calendar for 2015, based on the February 2 reopening date.
But while the exercise was progressing with students set to enter classrooms on February 12, the Joint Legislative Committee on Education, Public Administration and Health recommended that schools re-open on March 2, instead of February 2 as announced by the MOE.
The Committee said the postponement was necessary to allow for adequate preparation of school facilities and to give the MOE and Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MOH/SW) ample time to deliver the necessary Ebola preventive supplies to the 5,181 schools in Liberia.
The extension, according to Lawmakers, was also to enable parents to raise money for school fees and uniforms.
Shortly after the Lawmakers’ report was submitted, the MOE said schools would reopen today, but added that any school that may not have the requisite instructional materials to resume classes, will not be at fault, but rather urged them to continue the process until March 2, as stipulated by Lawmakers.
Meanwhile, eager students and school administrators, mainly from the private and faith-based institutions, including a good number of government-run institutions, are poised to resume academic activities today as announced by the MOE over the weekend.