By Tina S. Mehnpaine
The Ministry of Education (MOE) is warning institutions from holding any form of graduation program, thanksgiving service and honoring program for students ranging from K-1 to 12th.
“MOE cautions all school-administrators operating within the boundaries of Liberia and under its directive to refrain from such gross disregard for policies, guidelines and the Ministry’s No graduation mandate for academic school level (K1 to Grade 12),” says MOE’s release published at its Facebook page.
The MOE announces that anyone found in non-compliance will be fined and if the institution fails to comply, its operational permit shall be revoked.
“Important to note that once a school’s operational permit is revoked by the Ministry, it will automatically be denied chances of benefiting from any government’s assistance programs or related partners’ interventions, including scholarship, payment of students WASSCE fees, and also risk their students WASSCE eligibility status suspended,” the statement added.
According to the statement, the Light International School System (LISS) located on Airfield has paid a fine of LRD 300,000.00 (Three Hundred Thousand Liberian Dollars) for hosting Senior Class Souvenir and Farewell program.
“LISS has apologized for its action, claiming the situation was an honest error and misunderstanding. In an official letter to the ministry, the LISS expressed regret and affirmed its value for a cordial relationship with the ministry which is the sole regulator of education, the apology was acknowledged by the ministry.”
Though it is not clear whether school administrators are aware of the ministry’s new mandate, William K. Doe, Principal of the St. Kizito Catholic School in Paynesville said “I, as an individual, take direct order from the Catholic secretariat.”
Meanwhile, President George Weah through MOE has provided US$1 million stimulus package for private school workers, Early Childhood Education (ECE) to 12th Graders across the country.
MOE has established a task force consisting of the Civil Service Agency (CSA), the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP), the Internal Audit Agency (IAA), the National Teachers Association Liberia (NTAL) to identify and disburse the honorarium to private-school personnel across the country.
According to the ministry, for private school administrators to access the stimulus package and meet the criteria to benefit from the funds, the institution should present a valid operational permit, scan and submit copies of its January, February and March 2020 payrolls by emails.
“School must submit information of its staff in an excel format. Full name of the teacher, gender, position, subject, Teacher level, National identification number for each teacher and telephone number for each teacher and available bank accounts / Mobile Money Account number for each teacher,” MOE said.
According to the ministry, the identification and verification exercise is meant to authenticate the status of private school personnel in the country.
“Schools are encouraged to submit the requested information as early as possible to ensure personnel receives their honorarium in a timely fashion. The disbursement exercise runs from October 12 thru November 12, 2020,” the Ministry said.