The government through the Ministry of Education (MOE) has announced with immediate effect the resumption of basic academic activities beginning Monday, January 12, 2015.
By that date, registration for old and new students commences, to be followed by teacher orientation and other preparatory activities.
Thereafter, according to authorities at the MOE, instruction will commence as of Monday, February 2, by which date school administrators and students are being urged to observe the Ebola preventive measures.
The announcement of the reopening of schools was finally made public by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf during her recent simple English interview with UNMIL Radio.
Meanwhile, latest reports indicate that the MOE has formally announced that official classes will resume as already scheduled and that preparatory activities are expected to begin on course.
Early last year, schools throughout the country were ordered closed during the second outbreak of the Ebola virus disease (EVD) that claimed the lives of many people when the disease hit the country last March.
The action of the government to have schools reopened is the result of the decline in the number of new cases of Ebola virus.
The prolonged academic hiatus has obviously placed a serious financial burden on many of the schools who are still obligated to their respective teaching staff and other employees as well as supply vendors, banks and other entities who provide services to them.
Meanwhile, the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) announced that it will pay off the outstanding loan obligations of all private schools from kindergarten through high school.
This welcome relief to private schools indebted to the banks is expected to have a ripple effect on parents who will not be put under pressure from the schools to share the debt burden through increased tuition and fees.
The commercial banks have already provided the CBL with the list of schools and the amounts genuinely involved.
Dr. Jones, in a special Ebola Relief Package, said that this intervention serves two purposes: “It helps to relieve the banks of the burden of provisioning where schools find themselves unable to repay the debts; and it helps to relieve the potential burden on parents who may already be experiencing financial difficulties from increased fees that schools may have to impose in order to meet their obligations to the banks.”
Meanwhile some parents and guardians are still concerned that the re-opening date is too close for many of them to be able to raise the registration and tuition fees for their school-going children.