The Kids’ Education Engagement Project (KEEP) with support from Oxfam Liberia has handed over its 24th reading room worth (US$ 25,234) to the administration of the Goba Public School in Todee District, Montserrado County.
The dedication of the reading room followed a few months of renovation of the school annex to be used as a reading space for students. At the dedication ceremony in Goba Town Todee on Friday, September 3, 2021, Mrs. Brenda M. Moore, Executive Director of KEEP, said the dedication of the reading room was part of several dedications her organization has made across Liberia.
Mrs. Moore said the investment in the reading room is because of her organization’s desire to address the difficulty faced by students in reading. Mrs. Moore indicated that while it is a good idea to encourage children or students to read, it must equally be complemented by access to books and other reading materials so as to improve their reading skills.
“Today, we are dedicating the 24th reading room since we started. It is always an exciting moment for us because it takes us a lot to reach this far and we are grateful to our partners (Oxfam). All of these books you see were bought from the United States of America,” Mrs. Moore said.
She indicated that the reading room has over 1,720 books with a sitting capacity that hosts 71 people, and the renovation cost is valued at US$6,510. “KEEP can safely say that the responsibility rests on the parents and the school’s administration to make sure that the children read.”
“At times where there is a class schedule for reading, the children should make use of the Library guided by the teacher. In some of the science sections; students should go to the reading room to learn how to read because if a child knows how to read clearly, he/she will not find it difficult to speak or write. They cannot do any subject in school if they can’t read or write well,” Mrs. Moore stated.
Mrs. Moore indicated that KEEP is also involved with building the capacity of teachers and other women, something she said has been part of their activities. The Parents Teachers Association (PTA), Chairman, Johnny M, Teah, called for a mutual working relationship with the community to guide the reading room.
Mr. Teah further called on the students and community dwellers to serve as security and ensure that the books are used for the intended purpose, "Any child in the community or individual who will take away the book and it is established, said person will be dealt with according to the law."
He expressed gratitude to KEEP for the initiative and called on other organizations to follow a good example of KEEP. Albert J. Washington, the Administrative Assistant to the District Education Officer (DEO) in Todee, said education is everyone’s business and as such, it was important to support the children in whatever way possible.
Mr. Washington describes KEEP as a “great partner” to the Liberian government through the Ministry of Education (MOE), adding that “KEEP’s role over the years to the Ministry cannot be overemphasized.” He further acknowledged that KEEP in time past had provided some capacity-building training including training women and girls on how they should take care of themselves.
The Principal of the Goba Town Public School, Taylor M. Kolee Sr., lauded KEEP for the level of work done so far at the Goba Town Public School. Kolee said he has seen a clear level of improvement gradually in the educational sector of the country and KEEP’s involvement in the sector. He assured KEEP of the school’s willingness to do what it takes to protect the reading room, indicating that, “Beginning this week, the school administration in partnership with the community will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that will ensure total protection of this facility.”
Mr. Kolee said the reading room is a good opportunity that comes with responsibilities for both the parents and the administration.