The District Education Officer (DEO) of Garwula District in Grand Cape Mount County, Mambu Galafale, has announced that over 1,000 elementary students are currently either sitting on the floor, rocks, rusty tin cups, or pieces of blankets in classes due to the lack of benches or armchairs.
Mr. Garwula told the Daily Observer in an exclusive interview over the weekend that there are six elementary schools currently suffering from this poor educational environment.
He named the schools as Gbahfoo, Mecca, Mani, Konja, FarseeKormah and Njagbacc.
The Garwula District’s DEO made the disclosure during the turning over of educational materials to the Sinje Public High School by the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL) through Soccer4Hope-Liberia. The donation to schools, orphanages homes, hospitals, and football teams are part of NOCAL Care’s initiative, which involves branding NOCAL through sports.
Mr. Galafe hailed the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL) and Soccer4Hope-Liberia for the “educational and instructional materials” donated to the most populated school in the district, and noted: “ Education is important in helping to improve lives, break the cycle of poverty and ensure that all people, particularly women have control over their destiny.”
The donations include eight (8) cartons of copy books (big and small); one carton each of duster, pencils, A4lineless sheets and 10 packs of pens, a pack of stencil, including two bags of tissues two pieces of football and a set of jersey, amongst others.
NOCAL, through the partnership of Soccer4Hope-Liberia, has donated similar educational materials to eight schools, located in Bomi, Margibi, Gbarpolu and Grand Cape Mount Counties, including two orphanages (with schools) and the Government hospital in Bomi County in the last four months.
The DEO, in an elated tone, said the donations were “worthy,” but urged NOCAL to extend their donations to other schools in the district that are in desperate need.
“There are no benches for students to sit on in others schools, we beg you to extend your donations to them as well,” Mr. Galafe said.
He added, “There are many reasons children do not go to school in the leeward counties, and the lack of places to sit are some of them. Some students even have to walk long distances to get to school; many have no food to eat at home, while others have to take care of younger siblings, not to mention the lack of techers.”
For his part, the Principal of Sinje Public High School in Grand Cape Mount County, John A. Freeman, said the donated educational materials would affect the learning environment of the school’s over 1,500 students, and are therefore grateful to the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL) through Soccer4Hope-Liberia for the ‘gifts.’
Mr. Freeman also said the cartons of pencils, pens and stencils are timely because the school is in its climaxing stages of its first semester exams, while the 50 armchairs will help address the seating capacities of the seniors.
The Sinje Public High School Principal urged other institutions to emulate Soccer4Hope, by donating educational materials to schools, which are in disadvantaged communities like them, to help provide education in a conducive environment.
Vice Principal, Alexander M. Massaley, added his voice to hail NOCAL through the partnership of Soccer4Hope-LIberia, but said the school is also in “sincere need of a photocopier.”
Registrar Fatu B. Saryon, said the population of the school, which is 1,526 students, with males in the majority, are thankful to NOCAL and Soccer4Hope for the donations. She indicated that through these donations, the children and youth would realize their right to quality education.
Earlier, the Executive Secretary of Soccer4Hope-Liberia, G. Andy Quarmie, said Soccer4Hope helps destitute children or schools makeup of underprivileged children in order to fulfill their dreams.
He told the kids to go to school and study harder, and also encouraged them that through hard studies they can become ministers, president of NOCAL amongst others.
He admonished the school’s administration to use the donations wisely.