The Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Education (MOE) intends to renovate more than 200 public schools as part of its plans to revamp the country’s school system.
Deputy Education Minister for Administration, Aagon Tingba made the disclosure to school administrators, parents, and students during a tour of school facilities in Bong and Nimba counties.
The tour was intended to monitor schools and address some of their major challenges in meeting the academic needs of the students.
Minister Tingba said he was disappointed with the poor construction work done on some of the school buildings, particularly in the rural areas, which has contributed to overcrowding of classrooms.
“We have observed that several schools, including Nancy B. Doe and Dolokelen Gboveh Public High Schools, the John Bakalu Elementary School and John W. Pearson Public School, among others require quick renovation and construction of latrines on their respective campuses,” said Tingba.
According to Minister Tingba, the ministry has approved a little over US$1.2 million for the renovation of over 200 public schools across the country.
The renovations, he said, will be implemented by a few construction companies and will be monitored by authorities of the ministry and local officials in the various counties.
He noted that the Government Partnership for Education (GPE) funded by the World Bank has been ‘excellent’ in the construction of public schools in all parts of the country, referencing the Botoe Barclay Public School in Bong Mines that is expected to be completed in three months.
“Many of our public schools are over two to three decades old and have gone without proper renovations to address the problems of leakages, replacement of doors, and floors among other needed repairs.”
Minister Tingba explained that one of the reasons for the listening tour with school administrators, parents and students is to include them in decision making concerning the smooth running of the schools.
He said the lack of well refurbished (overhauled) institutions in populated areas to accommodate more students and provide quality education particularly in the rural areas remains a serious challenge to improving the country’s education system.
“Many of the schools constructed by the government in the rural areas were makeshift structures, considering the lack of laboratories, latrines, and other essential amenities.”
This, he said is primarily due to the lack of a good monitoring system by the ministry when the facilities were constructed.
Minister Tingba, however, assured school administrators, parents and students of the present MOE Administration’s readiness to address some of the major challenges in order to enable students to acquire a better education and raise the country’s image in public examinations, be they at home or abroad.