The City of Royesville in Lower Montserrado County now has its first high school, the US$250,000 Rebecca James Memorial High School, which was recently dedicated and turned over to the government.
Presenting the keys of the school complex to representatives of the Ministry of Education, Liberia YMCA vice chairman for Finance, Abraham Samukai, expressed appreciation to the memory of the late Madam Rebecca James and for her contribution towards the children of Royesville.
“The challenges of young people she may have experienced in Royesville owing to the lack of a high school led Madam James in doing what she has done for you all,” Mr. Samukai said.
Receiving the keys, outgoing Deputy Education Minister for Instruction, Hawah Goll-Kotchi asked for a minute of silence in memory of Madam James and spoke highly of her worthwhile contribution to the people of Royesville.
Madam Goll-Kotchi, through a family member, Momo Lee, thanked Madam James for dedicating her treasure so that the children of Royesville can be educated. It was also learned US$22,000 of the US$250, 000 (9%) came from Liberia YMCA, as a subsidy to the project.
Minister Goll-Kotchie praised Liberia YMCA for the stewardship and results delivered on the project.
Speaking to the challenges in the Liberian educational system, she told the gathering that the MOE will not accept volunteer teachers as the ministry wants qualified teachers, citing the mass failure in WAEC Exams.
She reaffirmed government commitment to improving quality education in the country.
Earlier, the National General Secretary of the Liberia YMCA, Mr. E. Edward Gboe, described the late Madam James as a true patriot.
He praised the support of the MOE, the local leadership of Royesville and the international division of the US YMCA for the successful completion of the educational complex.
He said it is good that Royesville now has a high school as many children upon completing junior high school in the township leave to attend schools either in Tubmanburg, Bomi County or Monrovia.
Mr. Gboe put the cost of the facility and its associated management and legal fees at about US$250,000 with 9% (or US$22,000) of the total cost subsidized by Liberia YMCA.
The Commissioner of Royesville, Edwin Mathies, thanked the YMCA for the construction of the school. “Statistics show that 57 percent of contracts given to Liberian firms are incomplete, but in the case of YMCA, you have completed 100 percent,” Commissioner Mathies said.
He appealed to the MOE and Montserrado Electoral District #7 Representative, William Dikel, to assist the school with equipment and instructional materials.
“The YMCA has done its part; now you must fulfill your duty on the tripartite agreement entered into by the YMCA, the MOE and the Township of Royesville. The YMCA has completed its part,” Commissioner Mathies said.
In remarks, Rep. Dikel praised the Late Madam Rebecca James for her thoughtful consideration of Royesville, – adding, “Even through darker days, there are people who mean well.”
He also thanked the elders and people of Royesville and the Parent Teacher Association of the School for their assistance in getting the school constructed and recommitted to advocate for projects, including support to the school, and allocations by the Legislature in the national budget.