The founder and chief executive officer of African Dream Academy (ADA), Mr. Samuel Enders, has expressed his dissatisfaction and disappointment that his institution was not called to participate in a Ministry of Education (MOE) meeting with school owners and other educational stakeholders.
The meeting, according to the ADA proprietor, was aimed at finding the best possible date for the reopening of all schools across the country.
Enders, who didn’t say when the meeting was held, stated however that the February 2 date that was set by the MOE was a complete disservice to poor Liberian parents, who are now struggling to find money and register their children.
“If my institution had been invited, we would have argued with government not to open schools in February but rather in March 2015,” he stated.
The ADA founder added that reopening in March would give parents and school authorities more time to put in place “all mechanisms needed for the reopening. “
Some of those mechanisms, according to Enders, include more thermometers to conduct constant body temperature monitoring and hand washing buckets.
The Education Ministry, in late December, said it would be working with stakeholders to brainstorm and find ways to reopen by February 2015.
The Senate, in its Thursday, January 29 session, called for the reopening of schools on March 2. The nine-member Senate committee recommended that the reopening be delayed by one month to allow adequate preparations of the facilities and delivery of all needed sanitary kits to the 5, 181 schools in the country.
The ADA proprietor said the decision by the Education Ministry and others stakeholders to have agreed on February 2, “beats his imagination.”
“They did not take into consideration several things that are needed for students, teachers as well as parents to put in place for schools to open,” Enders charged.
He challenged that there are schools in Montserrado that do not have a thermometer to monitor both students and teachers’ temperatures. Without naming any school, Enders maintained that some schools don’t have hand sanitizer for their teachers let alone the students for the first semester, which runs for at least four months.
“If we can have schools in Montserrado County facing these conditions how much more those schools in other counties further from Monrovia,” he said.
He said during the heat of the Ebola crisis, his academy, which is in Thinkers’ Village, along the Roberts International Airport (RIA) highway, worked tirelessly supplying anti-Ebola materials to various communities along the highway.
He said beneficiaries of his academy’s donations included students, teachers and health institutions such as ELWA Hospital. “We did this so that our country will come to what it was before the Ebola outbreak.”
Meanwhile, Enders’ African Dream Academy has distributed several buckets and sanitizers to 24 schools both public and private within the ELWA community along the RIA Highway.