Thanks a million for granting space to me in your widely read and prestigious newspaper to candidly air my views regarding an issue which has lingered on my mind for a lengthy period. It has to do with the relocation of the Ministry of Education (MOE) from Broad Street to the poverty-stricken Saye Town Community.
Quite honestly, the hearts of many of the residents leapt with profound joy and satisfaction when the ministry moved into our community more than two years ago, because we were of the strong conviction that this prime government entity would positively impact the community.
Disappointingly, nothing has happened since then. 3rd Street which the Ministry uses often is still in a deplorable state, and the nine community schools which are only a stone’s throw away from the Ministry are all in desperate need of assistance as they strive to provide quality education to our children.
It will surprise your many readers to note that more than 100 of our school-aged children are yet to enroll for the 2016-17 academic year because of financial constraints confronting their parents. This is precisely what prompted our humanitarian organization, Concerned Residents/Liberia, to launch the back-to-school program on Saturday, December 10 at Vision Christian Academy in Saye Town.
Though this program was well organized and planned, the attendance was highly discouraging because many of the invited guests failed to attend. Among the guests that we anticipated were representatives from the Ministry. Regrettably, we received a letter from the office of the Minister dated December 6 asserting that he is currently out of the country, and therefore, will not be able to serve in the capacity we requested.
The question that springs to mind is: were there no other officials at the Ministry to proxy for the Minister? If the answer is in the affirmative, then why were representatives from the Ministry absent from this important event?
Mr. Editor, you will agree with me and the other well-meaning Liberians that there is an urgent need for the Ministry, the Government of Liberia and the larger society to attach grave importance to providing quality education to all of our children.
Minister George Kronnisanyon Werner and his co-workers should consider themselves as social workers to exert conscious effort to ensure that Liberia’s educational sector blossoms to a new height.
Let me close by extending an invitation to Minister Werner and his co-workers to visit our community schools situated near the Ministry to obtain a firsthand account of how these schools are faring. He and the others will obviously become convinced of the need to provide subsidies to all community schools.
Yes, these are difficult times. Yet this is the time when we must tap our ideas, thoughts and imaginations to strategize the way forward to providing quality education to the children.
Remember, education plays a leading role in forging Liberia’s growth and development.
Jahbulleh C. Dempster
3rd Street, Saye Town