Some school administrators in Margibi County have blamed the low turnout of students on what they termed as economic hardship among other problems faced by parents and guardians of Liberian students.
One of said Administrator is the Principal of the Kakata Community College, Mr. Anthony M. Jallah who told newsmen that one of the things responsible for the low turnout of students is the unpreparedness of parents.
Mr. Jallah stated that a few of the students that went on the campus of the Institution complaint of the unavailability of uniform but his administration has given a grace period of two weeks to them under this pro-poor administration to be able to get the require uniform.
He explained that there are some students who have not even met up with their registration requirements.
The KCC Boss further intoned that Liberian students, parents and even teachers and school administrators always have the tendency of saying ‘that is the first week in school’.
He reminded Liberians that the success of the academic year depends on the first day in school as such; all school days should be treated equally equal adding if you start on a bad note you going to end on a detrimental note.
Mr. Jallah urged his colleagues and those in their employ to be realistic about what the Education Ministry has stated.
The Principal at the same time disclosed that there is a sharp contradiction in the Ministry’s pronouncement relating to the reopening of schools, indicating that for the fact that schools have formally and officially opened they are yet to see said mandate being effectuated as the result of the absence of good percentage of both Students and Teachers from schools.
According to him, the doors of the schools are open but those that are attached such as teachers must be available to provide instruction and students must also be available to receive the instruction that is being provided.
“We only hope that the parents and those of the school administrators can make sure because for us while it is true that we have good numbers of our teachers in attendance we still have some teachers absent and there were some teachers we sent home on grounds that their status has not been defined” he narrated.
Mr. Jallah averred that pronouncement is one thing but proper supervision must be carried out, something he said was their expectation that monitors should have been on the field on the first day of schools to see what is obtaining through which they all will get to identify the problem.
He then said his Institution has a problem with the pronouncement that was made by the Ministry of Education that schools running one session should operate from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. though his school is an exception to such mandate because it runs two sessions.
Mr. Jallah indicated that even if his Institution was running one session it could be extremely impossible to keep the students up to 3 p.m. in the absent of recreational and refreshment provision.
He also noted that school is uniformity and he feels that if the Ministry wants to provide equitable and quality education to all students, they all must carry the same load instead of some students going six hours while others are going for eight hours.
The Principal recommended that if schools are to run up to 3 p.m. then the school feeding program must be very effective and should begin immediately.
For his part, the Principal of the Frances Mitchell Industrial Memorial Academic, Alison P.J Smith said the number of students that attended the school of the first day of school was encouraging but not to the extent that everyone was on board.
Mr. Smith narrated that some students have not started school because things are difficult (financial problem) while parents are squeeze noting that anything one wants to do he/she needs to be prepared for it or else it cannot be done properly.
The Principal revealed that some students are still collecting bank slips from the Institution to be able to deposit their school fees to the Bank.
He asserted that things are not too healthy financially and that’s the reason his administration always give leeway to some parents who go to the school and explain their problems.
Mr. Smith at the same time said there is no assistance from the Ministry of Education though it mandated all schools in Liberian to open on the 3rd of September.
Meanwhile, all effort to get the view of the principal of the only Public High School (Lango Lippaye) in Kakata; Morris B. Farweneh did not materialize due to what he called being busy arranging things as new Principal of the Institution.
A survey conducted by The Monrovia Times Newspaper in upper Margibi County showed that schools in that part of Liberia were poorly attended by students on September 3, 2018.
The Ministry of Education mandated administrators of private and public schools across Liberia to open for academic 2018/2019 on September 3, 2018 which was adhered to by administrators of the various schools our reporter visited but reported a low number of students on the campuses of those schools.