The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has turned over a newly constructed primary school to the Ministry of Education in an effort to provide quality education to the residence of Louisiana Township, outside Monrovia.
The new facility, which was formally handed over to the community by the Ministry of Education and UNICEF, is the latest to be launched under the Government of Japan-funded initiative to provide safe child-friendly schools to communities across Liberia.
The school, which was handed over to the Louisiana community over the weekend, will begin serving Louisiana Town and three surrounding communities in the next school year, increasing access to quality education for over 5,000 residents and their children. The new primary school replaces a dilapidated community structure that had been used as school.
During the handling over ceremony Deputy Minister for Administration at the Ministry of Education, Mr. Ramses T. Kumbuyah, extended thanks to the Japan Government and UNICEF for what he termed as great support to the country future generation.
Mr. Kumbuyah speaking on behalf of the Education Ministry and the Liberian government, said the Liberian people are pleased with the construction of the school in that it will provide better learning environment for the residence of that part of Liberia.
He meanwhile urged the students and authorities of the institution to maintain the properties of the school stating that maintenance should be a priority.
“It is easy to have a school built for you like this but it is very difficult to maintain,” MOE Deputy said.
He called on all teachers to provide quality education in the classrooms for the students and that they should teach according to the curriculum.
Mr. Kumbuyah at the same time warned teachers that there is a new code of conduct, which talks about good ordinance, high quality of disciplines, corruptions. And if any teacher is caught in the act of receiving money from students for grades, sexual favors and other wrong things will be prosecuted, license and certificate will be withdrawn.
“Grade 1-9, there will be free education and no fees attached to it, the objective of the Ministry is to increase the amount of kids in school,” the Dep. Education Minister stated.
According to the Deputy Country Representative of UNICEF, Mr. Fazlul Haque, Education is the key priority to Liberia.
He pledged his organization’s support to Liberia stating that UNICEF will make sure that all children get better education.
He said the Government of Liberia has realized the importance of education for the peace and security of the country.
“If the country does not give the children proper education, this means the country’ future is not strong. The key element of development is education and every child should be given the right education,” he said.
He, too, joined Dep. Min. Kumbuyah to call on the school administration to maintain the property wisely and provide better education to students in that part of Liberia.
For her part the former Superintendent for Montserrado County, Madam Grace T. Kpaan commended the Japanese government and UNICEF for providing suitable school for Louisiana Township.
Discussing the issue of sexual exploitation and buying of grades in school, Mrs. Kpaan said “If I have my own way, any teacher caught exploiting a student sexually, I will kill that teacher because you have destroyed the dream of the child.”
The Louisiana Public School was established in 1939 by Toby Teage and Pauley Teage and was called “Waterside School” located in Louisiana, Montserrado County. Waterside School was operated in the home of the late Fredrick Hines, Sr. from Kindergarten to grade 4.