Bassa High Alumni in USA Working to Upgrade Major Secondary School
Buchanan, Grand Bassa County – Revitalizing Grand Bassa County’s premier public high school has been a challenge for local and central government over the years, but with the latest interventions of former graduates of the institution, students, faculty and staff are regaining confidence about the school’s future.
The Bassa High School Alumni Association in the USA (BHSA-USA) on Thursday, June 16 renewed the hope of hundreds of students after donating 400 steel-chairs and various sporting materials to the school.
BHSA-USA has also renovated the school’s auditorium and is preparing to construct several bathrooms and a modern science laboratory for the school which in total will cost over US$35,000.00.
“I feel happy; I feel overwhelmed and I feel over joyed to be back here at a school that I left 45 years ago to see the inspiration, the enthusiasm and the zeal for education,” Mr. Emmanuel Nuku Reeves told reporters couple of minutes after the official dedication of the items to Bassa High school.
“My dream has always been to come back here and teach Bassa High school free (of charge),” the 1971 Bassa High graduate added emotionally.
Mr. Reeves is the President of the BHSA-USA, and is confident that education is the foremost means of lifting the lives of young Liberians, adding that Liberians in the diaspora need to comeback and build the country’s education foundation.
“The core foundation is to let the children know the value of education. Not just academic but vocational education as well (because) only education can lift their lives.”
Earlier during the program, the students, faculty and staff expressed appreciation to the alumni association but called for more assistance including the setting-up of an equipped modern laboratory, provision of scholarship, support towards teachers’ compensation and students-exchange program, while the head of the students’ council government challenged his colleagues to maintain the chairs and other donated items.
Speaking earlier, Madam Estella Kilby Pailey- BHSA-USA coordinator in Liberia – thanked the association for their enormous interventions to the school and called on the students to show gratitude for the gesture by working hard through cademic excellence if they should benefit more from the US based association.
“So these are your chairs from the alumni association in the Americas through their President, Hon. Emmanuel Nuku Reeves,” she said as cheers and applauds from hundreds of excited students swallowed her voice.
“We thank God for our President; we thank God for our association in the United States…; in fact more will be done for you people, study hard.”
Bassa High School is the most historic high school in Grand Bassa County which has produced some of the best natives hailing from the county including prominent government officials like Gender Development and Social Protection Minister, Julia Duncan-Cassel and famous lawyer, Cllr. Davidetta Lloyd.
But the school’s credibility and students’ performance have been called to question since the outbreak and end of the Liberian civil war which stared in 1989.
Restoring the institution to its pre-war status is a paramount concern of past and present students especially in the areas of upgraded learning facilities and hiring dedicated-trained teachers.
Mr. Reeves, who appears to be concerned for the improvement of the school, says he will return as a volunteer teacher in the next couple of years after his retirement for work in the United States.
“But I want you to work with us; we lead an organization that is very caring and has Bassa High school at heart,” said the BHSA President.
“And we have vowed that we will not rest until we can restore Bassa High school to its rightful place in society,” he told the already thrilled students neatly seated on brand new chairs in the newly furbished Bassa High auditorium.
He was quick to dispelled misconceptions and speculations that he and his association’s interventions are politically motivated, saying: “I’ve told the people of Liberia and I have told the people of Bassa on many occasions that I have no political aspiration. My goal has always been humanitarian; I want to be able to give back to my people, not politically.”
Recounting his challenges as a student over four decades ago from the school and the retrogressions the school has experienced including a decrepit learning facility, Mr. Reeves encouraged the current Bassa High students gearing up for the upcoming West Africa Examination Council (WAEC) senior high exams to be studious and determined, telling them that the alumni association will work hard to improve the institution despite the enormous challenges which are sometime difficult to resolve.
While appreciating the teachers and other faculty staff, he assured that rehabilitation works on the bath rooms and the science laboratory will resume soon while also revealing plans to implement several renovation works at the school.
“We ask you to remain steadfast, keep pressing on, respect yourself, be disciplined and learn to appreciate and take care of what you have,” Reeves said. “We work so hard to make these little things that you see here happened; we are prepared to work even harder if you can appreciate and preserve what you have.”
Continue Mr. Freeman; “For you, I will go back to my people (members of BHSA) and let them know that while you appreciate the gratitude every year, we got to do more (because) once a year (intervention) is not enough.”
The Bassa High School Alumni in the United States are over 100, according to its President but he said only 40 members are regularly in the payments of its regular monthly dues of US$100 which was used for the purchase of all the items for the school as well as the implementation of other projects at Bassa High.