If all goes well in keeping with the recent announcement by the government directing all schools to reopen early next month, then registration of students paving the way to the reopening of full academic activities will begin today Monday across the country.
With that directive, the government has at the same time announced absolute “free registration” of students from the beginning classes to 9th grade, while those in the senior high grade are required to pay the minimum fee of L$350. This policy only applies to public schools across the country.
Whether government will make any provisions for faith-based and privately-owned institutions remains to be seen. But this is unlikely as the cash-strapped government in this Ebola season might argue that waving registration fees for private schools would be a costly.
The government’s policy of “free registration and the payment of minimum fees for registration” stemmed from the backdrop of numerous complaints from parents and guardians about their financial burdens.
Some parents have argued that the timing for registration and the subsequent reopening of schools was jamming their pocketbooks, considering the economic damage done by the deadly Ebola virus disease (EVD which is still in the country. Some parents are embittered about the economic hardship they are faced with at such a time.
Last week the government, through the Ministry of Education (MOE), announced the resumption of basic academic activities with immediate effect beginning today Monday, January 12.
Registration for old and new students will be followed by teacher orientation and other preparatory activities.
Thereafter, according to MOE authorities, instruction will commence effective Monday, February 2, during which time and subsequently until Liberia is declared Ebola-free, school administrators and students are being urged to strictly observe the Ebola preventive measures.
Early last year, schools throughout the country were ordered closed during the second outbreak of the Ebola virus disease (EVD) that claimed the lives of many people. The action of the government to have schools reopened is the result of the decline in the number of new Ebola cases.
The prolonged academic hiatus has obviously placed a serious financial burden on many of the schools, which are still obligated to their respective teaching staff and other employees as well as supply vendors, banks and other entities that provide services to them.