Liberia: 400 Students’ Fate Hangs in Balance Over ‘Government’s Failure’ to Pay Rent for their School Building

CAPITOL HILL, Monrovia – The fate of over four hundred students of the William V.S. Tubman Elementary and Junior High School in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County hangs in the balance over the Liberian Government’s failure to pay US$22,500 allegedly owed the owners of the building used by the Ministry of Education to run the school.

The ‘precarious situation’ was brought to the attention of the Plenary of the House of Representatives by Rep. Matthew Fairplay Joe (CDC, District #3, Grand Bassa County) whose constituency the school is located.

In a communication to House Speaker Bhofal Chambers, Rep. Joe said the owners of the building has threatened to shut down the public school if the money, allegedly owed them for the period of years is not paid.

“The family who owns the structure that houses the school claims that the Ministry of Education owes them the amount of US$22,500 for a period of five years, and has refused to pay portion of the amount owed. This situation is increasingly embarrassing as over 400 students risked being out of school for this semester,” Rep. Joe informed his colleagues. 

He craved the indulgence of the plenary to invite the Minister of Education, Professor Ansu D. Sonii to respond to the claims. And if is true, to outline measures the Ministry has put in place to address the situation.

According to him, parents of the students have also threatened to stage a mass demonstration in Buchanan if nothing is done to stop their children from staying out of school this academic year.

Meanwhile, the Plenary of the House, following the reading of the communication, forwarded it to the House Committee on Education to report within one week.

Meanwhile, the situation from the Port City of Buchanan, Liberia’s second city, is surfacing amid the cautious reopening of school following a year of disruption by COVID-19; affecting more than 2 million children, adolescents and youth.

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