Liberia: KEEP dedicates Reading Room at Nyakoi Bee Public School

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MONROVIA – Kids’ Educational Engagement Project, “(KEEP)” is a non for profit national non-governmental organization operating in 7 counties in Liberia whose core function is to promote the culture of reading through the establishment of save reading spaces for primary students in schools around the country. KEEP’s goal is to support the Ministry of education through its policy to strengthening primary education in Liberia.  Since its formation in 2014, KEEP has established fifteen (15) reading rooms in seven of the fifteen counties of Liberia with the most recent one being dedicated at the Nyakoi Bee Public school in Palala, Panta-Kpaai district, Bong County. “Thanks to the Global neighborhood Fund” for the support.

The dedication ceremony was attended by local government officials including the County education officers, representative from the office of the district commissioner and the general town chief. Others include the administration of the Nyakoi Bee Public school, the PTA, women and youth leaders and the students. The program started at 11:35 am in the auditorium of the Nyakoi Bee Public School. In her welcome remarks and overview of the project, the principal of the school, Mrs. Rose Wreh, praised KEEP for the initiative directed to the school and Palala community. She said it is the first of its kind for Nyakoi Bee Public school to have a reading room and a reading program which aims at developing the reading skills of the children. Mrs. Wreh said she along with the school and the entire community have been excited when KEEP selected their school for such a wonderful project. Her remarks was followed by a melodious song sang by the school’s choir entitled, “My Lord is coming again, wait patiently.”  

For her part, the general town chief of Palala, Madam Doris Dolokwelai thanked KEEP and the local education authority for the reading room project. She encouraged the parents especially her fellow women to work with their children to make use of the facility. “Please keep the doors of the room open to the children every day of the week.” She begged the teachers. Madam Dolokwelai pleaded with the students to use their time in the reading room rather than playing all around in the community. For the chairperson of the Parent teachers Associations “(PTA),” Mr. Andrew P. Sayque first told the students that the project is mainly established for them and they should make the reading room their most loved place to be. He further thanked KEEP for selecting their community school to be the first to benefit from its initiative in Bong County.

Meanwhile, the county education officer of Bong County, Hon. Armand N. Varvley congratulated and described KEEP as a true partner to the Ministry of Education. He called on the students to take responsibility of the reading room. “The facility is for you, please make use of it.” “Reading is Light.” He told the students. He further cautioned the teachers that the facility is not established to beautified the campus or for them (teachers) to make it as their new office but for the students to use it. He then asked everyone in the community to be the security for the facility by keeping watch of it day and night.  Hon. Varvley calls on KEEP to extend its endeavors to other parts of Bong County for other children to benefit as those of Palala.

In her remarks, the executive director of KEEP, Mrs. Brenda B. Moore, told the gathering that KEEP makes reading its core objective because we want the children to learn how to read. “Reading has been a challenge for our children so we are establishing reading rooms to develop that culture of reading in our children.” She told the gathering. She said there is no field in education that does not require reading. Mrs. Moore than encouraged the parents, teachers and students to take advantage of the opportunity by using the room efficiently. “Please keep the room opened to the children.” She begged the teachers. The executive director put the cost of the facility and all the materials placed in it including furniture and books at USD$20,682.00.  Mrs. Moore said most of the books placed in the reading room are primary readers which the children will enjoy reading. She told the people gathered that KEEP’s programs are in stages which every community with a reading room stands to benefit from. “The establishment of reading rooms is the first stage.” “Other stages will follow based on how the first stage is utilized” She challenged the community to pave the way for the other stages to follow.

Meanwhile, the board chair of KEEP, Mrs. Chantal Doe calls on the parents to encourage their children to go to the reading room every day. “Education is reading.” She told them.  She further asked the principal of the school to work with her staff to help the children use the materials in the reading room carefully. Mrs. Doe said to build a nation lies within the hands of the teachers because they (teachers) are the ones who builds the foundation of every successful human being. She than asked the County Education Officer, Hon. Varvley to make sure a proper monitoring measures are put in place for the efficient and effective use of the reading room. “If you encourage us (KEEP) by using the facility regularly, we shall become real and long term partners.” She said. She encouraged the students to take advantage of the glorious opportunity brought to their school in order to have a good foundation. “Forget about having too much fun and pleasure in the community. “Real fun and pleasure come when you are educated and have everything at your reach.” She told the students.

In her closing remarks, the principal of the school, Mrs. Rose Wreh, says, she will do everything possible to keep the room opened for the children and to the public. She said although the reading room is on the campus of Nyakoi bee Public school, but it is opened and free for all students and children of other schools in the community and its surroundings. About 1,245 students at the Nyakoi Bee Public school are expected to benefit from the facility. The number is expected to increase when children from other schools ceased the opportunity to use the room also. The program ended with the touring of the facility.

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