Montserrado County Senator George Weah is extending an appeal to the Executive Branch of Government to reconsider its decision to reopen schools on February 2 as announced earlier.
In a statement issued in Monrovia yesterday, the popular Montserrado County Senator disclosed that since the announcement he has received many calls asking him to intervene and appeal to government to give parents more time to economically adjust.
Said Sen. Weah, parents complain that they are out of work and as a result they do not have money to contend with the high tuition fees charged by private schools.
Most schools in the country are owned by church organizations and private individuals.
It is impossible for government schools to accommodate the thousands of students who wish to enroll at all academic levels in the country, and private schools being self-sponsored charge exorbitant fees to be able to pay their teachers make a margin of profit from their institutions.
“Considering these widely shared and indisputable views, Senator George Weah would like to admonish the Executive Branch to reconsider its decision to resume regular and full academic activities at the time Government has pronounced,” the statement notes.
He promised to liaise with his colleagues to prevail on the Executive to listen to the cries of Liberians to readjust the schedule so that it will be convenient to all.
Since Government announced the reopening of schools earlier this month, there have been criticisms and opposing statements from many quarters of the country.
Some went as far as considering the President’s pronouncement a “mere joke,” noting that parents were not given enough notice before the February 2 schedule for reopening of schools.
During the heat of the Ebola last year, there were also public outcries calling on government and partners to be sincere and fight the Ebola disease as students’ time to be in school was wasting.
Amid these calls by parents and appeal by the popular Montserrado Senator, the president of the Catholic-run Stella Maris Polytechnic, Sister Mary Laurene Browne says though it is a difficult period for the country, Liberians and their partners must make the sacrifice to keep strictly to the preventive measures when schools open.
She believes that waiting any longer than the date set by authorities of the Ministry of Education (MOE) for the resumption of academic activities will result in “the country’s education sector going from bad to worse,” adding that to be declared an Ebola free country will take a long time and our school-going children will become over age for their current classes.
According to the renowned educator, government does not have to satisfy everybody at the same time, but must ensure that there is strict observance of the preventive measures even though those rules may curtail some of the students’ freedom.
Says Sister Laurene, “This is a difficult time, but we all have to make the sacrifice because it cannot be business as usual.” As such, the Spiritan Academy, which she runs has embarked on procedures leading to the re-arrangement of seating capacity of students to at least 25 to 30 students per class.”