FIND Boss urges GoL to provide subsidies to schools
The Executive Director of the Foundation for International Dignity (FIND), Roosevelt Woods, has called on the Government of Liberia to increase budget allotment for education and provide much-needed subsidies to private schools across the country.
Serving recently as the keynote speaker at the 23rd anniversary of New Hope Academy on Peace Island in Paynesville, Monrovia, Mr. Woods indicated that increased budgetary allotment to the nation’s education sector will not only help to create a good learning environment for students but enable the government to provide better salaries and incentives for public school teachers.
He also underscored the need for a review of Liberia’s education curriculum aimed at not only incorporating civic and voter education but ensuring effective monitoring and compliance to academic regulations by both public and private schools.
On the theme: “Reviving the Educational Sector for a Better Liberia,” Mr. Woods cautioned teachers and other school administrators to instill good morals and academic values into the minds of students and called on parents to regularly monitor the academic performances of their children in school.
Mr. Woods also urged students to strive for quality education and to minimize spending their time on discussing and debating minor issues on social media.
In recent years, the New Hope Academy has been fulfilling its commitment to advancing gender equality in the ratio of male and female students who are graduating from secondary school by proving that when given the opportunity, girls can excel on an equal basis with boys.
For instance, all twenty-six 12th graders (14 females & 12 males) of the New Hope Academy who wrote the 2016/2017 senior high school examinations administered by the West African Examination Council were successful.
According to Mr. Augustine S. Arkoi, the school’s founder and proprietor, the school started in 1995 as a community recreation center in a makeshift building, teaching only martial arts and life skills to about 40 community based adolescent youth during the heat of the Liberian civil war.
Rev. Arkoi asserted “The shocking discovery that majority of the youths had never sat in any classroom, prompted him to acquire an official permit from the Ministry of Education, thus transforming the re-creation center into a formal academic school to provide scholarships and affordable learning opportunity to all, particularly disadvantaged out-of-school youths.
Mr. Arkoi who is also the founder of the Better Future Foundation (BFF) disclosed that girls’ education, retention in school, leadership, and issues of their sexual reproductive health are at the core of the learning programs of New Hope Academy. “Currently, the school is witnessing an increment in girls’ enrollment over the boys in all of its classrooms,” he said.
Recent statistics of the school for 2014/2015 school year indicate that out of a total enrollment of 338, there was a ratio of 179 girls to 159 boys. Similarly, for the 2015/2016 school year, out an of enrollment 342, the girls outnumbered the boys 173 to 169. The current school enrollment again records 218 girls to 198 boys.
The theme of this year’s anniversary was “Enhancing education through social integration.” The gala activities started on May 14 and coincided with the observance of Liberia’s 54th National Unification Day.