The Ministry of Education (MOE) says its decision to reopen schools in February for Academic Year 2015 remains irreversible despite the outcry of parents across the country.
George Wou, Administrative Assistant to Deputy Education Minister for Instruction Hawa Goll-Kochi, told newsmen Monday in an interview at his Third Street office that plans were being finalized by the Ministry to reopen schools throughout the country.
He indicated that the MOE has submitted a proposal to the Ministry of Finance that would help privately- owned schools to reduce fees to enable parents to afford sending their children to school.
He acknowledged that “the outbreak of the Ebola virus in the country imposed hardships on the parents, thus making it difficult for many of them to be able to meet up with fees charged by private schools.”
Regarding the concern from many quarters about the deplorable condition of many public schools, lack of adequate seating, toilets and other amenities, Mr. Wou said the Government of Liberia has committed US$2.2 million dollars for the purchase of armchairs and the renovation of public schools to ensure the smooth conduct of classes following the long closure of schools.
With the question of managing the Ebola risk in mind, the MOE official disclosed that UNICEF had agreed to supply anti-Ebola materials to all campuses of the 5,800 public and private schools in Liberia to ensure the safety of students during school hours.
Wou said thermometers, detergents, faucet buckets for hand washing, as well as other Ebola preventive materials would be supplied to the various schools around the country.
“We have put into place mechanism for the reopening of schools. With the decline of Ebola cases throughout Liberia, children should now be in school,” declared Mr. Wou.