Liberia: 12th Grade Students to Resume Classes on June 29

Acting Liberia’s Education Minister, Dr. Alexander Doupu

Monrovia – In the wake of the increase in Coronavirus deaths and confirmed cases in Liberia, the Ministry of Education has formally announced the reopening of schools for 12th graders in the country.

According to acting Education Minister Dr. Alexander Doupu, the decision taken by authorities of the Ministries of Health, Education and the National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL), to admit 12th graders into physical, traditional schooling during this Covid-19 period, was made to ensure adequate preparation for the upcoming West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examinations (WASSCE).

Dr. Doupu is the Deputy Minister for Instruction at the Ministry of Education in Liberia.
He made the pronouncement at a news conference held in Monrovia over the week end.
Minister Doupu emphasized that only 12th graders are allowed back to school beginning June 29, 2020 in preparation for the upcoming WASSCE examinations.

He added that the week of June 22 to 26, 2020, will serve as an orientation and preparation period to allow health authorities and school administrations to finally set up safe school requirements, as well as train teachers, support staff, and students on safety measures.

“Following consensus by West African Examination Council (WAEC) members’ countries, the President of the Republic of Liberia, H.E. Dr. George Manneh Weah, on June 5, 2020, mandated the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health to put in all mechanism by June 22, to ensure that 12th graders resume classes to adequately prepare for the West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examinations (WASSCE)”.

“Though all of our students are eager to go to the classrooms, this opening is for the 12th graders only. Lessons which will commence on June 29 should focus on preparing 12th graders for WASSCE. The school days include Mondays to Saturdays or Mondays to Sundays”.
He pointed out that though 12th graders will return to the classrooms very shortly in Liberia, West African Examinations Council members’ countries are in final deliberations on the exact date for the administering of the WASSCE.
Minister Doupu indicated that following the deliberations, WAEC Liberia office will announce the exact date for the commencement of the WASSCE examinations.

He disclosed that the tentative period for the commencement of WASSCE is stated for mid-August 2020.

School contact hours and sessions
Minister Doupu noted that all schools will commence operations using the regular school hours to complete the prescribed academic activities for 12th graders.

He further mandated that all schools should also develop a one-shift schedule, to accommodate all students attending the morning, afternoon, and night sessions at the same time using multiple classrooms of a minimum number of students in adherence to physical distancing.

Safe School Protocol

At the same time, the acting Education Minister has annouced that the Ministry of Health is expected to commence health safety training for school administrators and other support staff beginning June 22 to 23, 2020 in Montserrado County.

“In line with keeping students and school administrators, teachers and support staff safe, the Ministry of Education in collaboration with the Ministry of Health (MoH), the National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL) and partners have completed a GUIDELINE FOR SAFE SCHOOL ENVIRONMENTS IN THE CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19 IN LIBERIA and requires that all schools have necessary safety materials in place”.

He added that all school administrators are compelled to ensure that teaching and other staffs, as well as students wash their hands with sanitizers or disinfectants before being allowed on their respective campuses.

He maintained that school administrators should continue to engage the Parents Teachers Associations (PTAs) of their respective institutions during this Covid-19 era in keeping with the guidelines set aside by the Ministries of Health and Education.

Speaking further, Minister Doupu disclosed that the Ministry of Education is assiduously working with authorities of the Ministries of Health, Finance and Development Planning as well as donor partners to help provide the necessary safety and preventive materials to schools across the country.

“The Ministry of Education reminds all that the Coronavirus pandemic is still a crisis and cautions the public to follow the health guidelines and safety protocols provided by the health authorities. The Ministry also encourages all to perform voluntary testing or in the case whereby one feels any symptoms of COVID-19”.

The reopening of schools for 12th graders pronounced by authorities of the Ministry of Education comes in the wake of increase in the number of Coronavirus deaths and cases in Liberia.

At least 33 persons have died of Covid-19 in Liberia, while 581 cases have been confirmed, and 298 cases remain active, according to the latest statistics released by NPHIL as of 10:00PM of June 18, 2020.

So far, about 250 persons have also recovered from the virus in Liberia.
The pronouncement also comes amid confirmation by WAEC-Liberia boss Dale G. Gboto that he has been diagnosed of Coronavirus and is admitted at the 14 Military Hospital along with his family members.

Sources have also hinted FrontPage Africa that Education Minister Ansu Sonii has also contracted Covid-19, and is admitted at the 14 Military Hospital.

But authorities of the Ministry of Education have been tightlipped on the health status of Minister Sonii, who has not been seen in public, for a prolong period of time.

“I am the Director of Communications for the Ministry of Education and authorized to promulgate and publish approved rules and regulations governing the Ministry. I am also empowered to disseminate factual, credible and balanced information regarding the programs, projects and activities of the ministry”.

“Any other information about my boss’s personal information regarding their lifestyle or health, you can kindly call or email them,” Maxime Bleetahn responding to an inquiry from FPA stated.