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Schools reopen at slow pace

Jos Garneo Cephas/Joseph T. Koon
Some students from Monrovia before the Ebola outbreak, with their teacher posed for the camera during class
Some students from Monrovia before the Ebola outbreak, with their teacher posed for the camera during class

( 2015)-Schools throughout Liberia have begun officially reopening, but the process is taking a slow pace.

The process started Monday, February 16, 2015 as mandated recently by the Liberian Government.

Despite the commencement of the reopening process, most schools are yet to conform to the mandate, due to their ill-preparedness, while those who managed to reopen say they are experiencing low turnouts.

Government recently set February 16 as the official date for the reopening of schools across the country.

The ministry of Education instructed school administrations to ensure that each class accommodates an approved total intake of only 25 students per class.

Early January this year, the ministry formulated plans for the reopening of schools, considering the massive scaled down of Ebola-infection rate across Liberia.

As the second outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) became tense in July, 2014, the Government ordered the closure of all learning institutions in the country in August after the Declaration of State of Emergency.

Some of the learning institutions visited by were the Calvary Baptist School on 18th Street Monrovia and in Fiamah, respectively in Sinkor, as well as the Nancy B. Doe Elementary Public School in Matilda Estate.

An administrator of the Calvary Baptist School, who begged for anonymity, said: “You can see, we are still cleaning and painting our structures. Besides, the number of students registered is not enough to allow us resume academic activities now.”

As many public and private schools within Paynesville City also failed to reopen, many parents have stressed the lack of money to complete their children’s registration process as a major obstacle.

A marketer and parent, Madam Miatta Wesseh said: “We are ready to send our children back to school, but there is no ample time for me to complete four of my children’s registration.”

The reopening of schools, after the closure for 11 months, will be remarkable if the Education Ministry would live up to its promise by providing anti-Ebola materials to all schools across the country.

The deadly Ebola disease negatively impacted the Liberian society by killing nearly 4,000 Liberians.

Montserrado County, with the population of more than one million people, is the only sub-political division of Liberia still reporting sporadic and four confirmed Ebola cases of the virus.


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