Hundreds of community members in Upper Careysburg and Kendeja in Montserrado County thronged the premises of their respective primary school campuses which are under Bridge Partnership to witness the opening ceremonies of the schools.
The schools are among 24 others that are now under the supervision of the global education organization, Bridge International Academies, which now has a Public Private Partnership (PPP) with the Liberian government to bring a radical transformation to public education in the country.
Bridge International Academies is among eight other partners supporting government in this initiative.
At Upper Careysburg and Kendeja, residents across the eight counties where Bridge has operations, parents, teachers and students came out to attend the opening ceremonies of the Bridge Partnership Schools.
The ceremonies were held barely five days to the reopening of schools for academic year 2016/2017.
The Bridge partnership opening ceremonies came after months of intensive work the organization undertook by training over 300 teachers. Bridge launched a two week teacher training for the more than 300 teachers, who were already graduates of government-run teacher training institutes.
Eighty-five of the teachers who completed Bridge’s two intensive trainings at the Kakata Rural Teacher Training Institute (KRTTI) were already on government’s payroll.
An additional 149 teachers, who participated in the training, were subsequently absorbed on government’s payroll after they were qualified following the training, which ran from July 28 to Augusts 12.
During the dedicatory ceremonies euphoria was visible on the faces of hundreds of parents, teachers and students who gathered at the Upper Careysburg Public School for the program yesterday. The same reaction was witnessed across the counties including Bomi where communities were also excited and in high gear for the ceremony.
Jefferson P. Jackson, vice principal for instruction at Upper Careysburg Public School told the gathering that the training he got from Bridge along with his friends has transformed the way he would present lessons as the school year begins.
Jackson recounted, “For the past years, we have been teaching at this Upper Careysburg Primary School, never have we had access to technology in the way we deliver our lessons. During the recent two weeks’ training, we learned how to use technology to deliver our lessons, to prepare our lesson plans and to monitor the way the lessons are being delivered. I used to teach in this school. We have had many problems with lesson planning in the past. Teachers would forget their lesson plans and leave them at home and then it becomes a problem for the lesson during a particular day. Now going forward, we have our lessons being delivered to us through our teacher computers and our students can be assured of receiving quality education as the new school year begins.”
Upper Careysburg Principal, George K. Commandine, appreciated the community for the level of support his team has received since returning from the training.
One of the Bridge Partnership Teachers, George P. Blahpue, now assigned at the Upper Careysburg Public School added, “The enrolment here may be more than the school can accommodate. Parents have brought their children from other schools and have enrolled them at the Upper Careysburg Primary School. PTA Chairman,
Daniel Logan said the community was proud to be host to a Bridge Partnership School, noting, “We are proud that you elected to work in our community. We will give you all the support you need to make sure that our children learn and that the school performs in a better way.
The opening programs were done simultaneously across the eight counties and 24 public primary schools, which have now been placed under the management of Bridge International.
On behalf of the organization, the Deputy Country Director, Joe K. Gbasakollie, said the moment was one of excitement to see hundreds of community members converge across all the 24 schools in the eight counties where Bridge is operating and should send the message that the parents want quality education for their children.
Mr. Gbasakollie continued, “Never a time have we seen such excitement as we are seeing today. Teachers are excited that they have been relieved of the stress of preparing lesson plans, and will now concentrate on delivering lessons and ensuring that children are actually learning.
“Students attending Bridge Partnership Schools all across the country are assured of free uniforms per child including books, readers and learning supplementary kits in Math and Science,” Josh Nathan, Bridge Academic Director assured the parents.