“Garzon Public School Lacks Qualify Teachers And Instructional Materials” Parent, Teacher Revealed

It has been established that the Garzon Public Elementary, Junior and Senior High School on the outside of Division #16 in Firestone Margibi County lacks qualify teachers and instructional materials.

Mr. Alphonso Baryou, a parent told The Monrovia Times Newspaper over the weekend that 95% of the teachers teaching in the school are not qualified, stating that some of them are just high school graduate who have not gone through the “C Certificate program.

Mr. Baryou, “Garzon Public School was built by the World Bank through an NGO own by one Lady, but after the Construction of this building it was placed under Montserrado County School System but 95% of people that attending here are all Margibians but the school is facing lots of problems”.

According to him most of the teachers are also volunteers as such; the most often abandoned classes thus causing harm to the students’ educational sojourn.

“Most of the time our children come here whole week no school because the teachers are not paid, some of them go and do their personal problem in order to be able to sustain themselves so those are some of the problems we face here” he furthered.

Alphonso Baryou explained that it is the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) that compensates those teachers who are providing their voluntary services because they want their children to remain in school.

He averred that some of the teachers who are assigned in the school by the Ministry of Education (MOE) do not live in the area due to the insufficiency of dwelling place adding that some of them live in Monrovia. Additionally, Mr. Baryou stated that sometimes those teachers who live far from the Community sent people to fill in the gap for them.

He called on the Margibi Legislative Caucus to intervene and ensure that the school is placed under the Margibi County School System in order to be properly supervised and monitored.

Meanwhile, an anonymous instructor revealed to this writer that the school is facing lots of challenges including the lack of support to the Early Childhood Education program and teachers not being placed on payroll.

Our source also said the school lacks the instructional materials such as chalks and textbooks, printer and photocopy machine among others, accordingly; the school documents are printed in Monrovia.

The anonymous instructor disclosed that materials can be provided by themselves indicating, sometimes we have little program to generate little fund to buy chalk and other things.

The source mentioned that the instructional staffs provide books on their own to prepare the senior students for WASSCE as they are willing to teach the students and make the sacrifices because according to them they took the oath to teach the Liberian children.

The anonymous instructor also denied reports that the teachers abandoned the school and the school lacks qualify teachers but admitted that some of the teachers live in Montserrado County referencing those who reside in Duala, Caldwell and Garnerville while the Principal resides in Kingsville #7.

The source also mentioned that the school has volunteer teachers who are compensated by the PTA in the tone of two thousand Liberian dollars each on a monthly basis.

The School according to the source has over 500 students some of who are children of Firestone redundant workers while others are sitting at homes because their parents cannot afford to send their children to school though our informer said the school is tuition-free.

The source concluded that the school was established by a man identified as Jeremiah Greaves in 1976, constructed by the World Bank between 2013 and 14 and placed under the Montserrado County School System.

When contacted via mobile phone, the District Education Officer (DEO) for Careysburg Educational District Edwin M. Darju said the issue of the lack of providing instructional materials to public schools as well as having voluntary teachers in public schools cut across Liberia with Garzon Public School being of no exception.

“And you being a Journalist in this Country I think that issue you know that is a nationwide problem right, the issue of the lack of instructional and teaching materials is a nationwide problem so that is not just a situation that is just unique to Careysburg or unique to that school alone; that’s a nationwide problem and is part of the challenges that we have as a government” Mr. Darju told our reporter.

He said there is no way that school will get materials when the government does not have money adding that government will only be able to solve such issues when money is available.

Mr. Darju also said the issue of voluntary teachers being in the school came about when parents the Parent Teacher Association saw the existing gap in the school terming it as something that his leadership inherited.

He maintained that all he needed to have done is to crosscheck the voluntary teachers and see whether they are qualified in order to keep them in the school until the government gets ready to do employment.

The Careysburg DEO at the same time said there is no unqualified teacher in the school as being reported not even in any of the public schools in the District that are directly under his supervision.

“There is no one teacher in any of the schools across Careysburg that you will see they do not have ‘C Certificate’ as the minimum qualification in our system, he narrates”.

He, on the other hand, confirmed reports that some of the teachers live in a distance from the school especially the Paynesville belt due to the lack of housing facility.

He expressed the need for parents to make use of the School’s land by getting involved in gardening so as to be able to support the school instead of leaving everything with the Government of Liberia.

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