FIND Urges CDC GOV’T: Increase education allotment, give private schools subsidies
The Executive Director of the Foundation for International Dignity (FIND), Roosevelt Woods, has called on the Liberian Government to increase the allotment for education in the national budget and provide much-needed subsidies to private schools across the country.
Mr. Woods indicated that increased budgetary allotment to the nation’s educational sector will not only help to create good learning environment for students, but enable government to provide better salaries and incentives for public school teachers.
He was speaking at the 23rd Gala Anniversary of the New Hope Academy on Peace Island in the Monrovia suburb of Paynesville.
The FIND Executive Director also underscored the need for a re-visitation of Liberia’s educational curriculum aimed at not only incorporating civic and voter education but ensuring effective monitoring and compliance to educational regulations by both public and private schools.
Speaking on the Theme: “Reviving the Educational Sector for a Better Liberia,” Mr. Woods cautions teachers and other school administrators to instill good morals and academic values into the minds of students.
While cautioning parents to regularly monitor the academic performances of their children in school, the FIND Executive Director urged students to strive for quality education and to minimize spending more time on discussing and debating minus issues on social media.
A statement from the Better Future Foundation (BFF) on Tuesday said, the New Hope Academy has in recent years been fulfilling its commitment to advancing gender equality in the ratio of male and female students who are graduating from secondary school.
The institution is said to have done this by proving that when given the opportunity, girls can excel on equal basis with boys.
For instance, all twenty-six 12th graders (14 females & 12 males) of the New Hope Academy who wrote the 2016/2017 senior high school examinations administered by the West African Examination Council made a successful pass.
Rev. Augustine S. Arkoi, Founder and Proprietor of the New Hope Academy, told the 23rd gala anniversary ceremony that the school first started in 1995 as a community re-creation center in a makeshift building, teaching only martial art and life skills to about 40 community based adolescent youth during the heat of the Liberian civil war.
Rev. Arkoi asserted that “The shocking discovery that majority of said youths had never sat in any classroom, prompted him to acquire official permit from the Ministry of Education, thus transforming the re-creation center into a formal academic school to provide scholarships and affordable learning opportunity to all, particularly disadvantaged out-of-school youths.
The Founder of the BFF disclosed that girls’ education, retention in school, leadership, and issues of their sexual reproductive health are at the core of the learning programs of New Hope Academy. “Currently, the school is witnessing an increment in girls’ enrolment over the boys in each of its classrooms,” he emphasized.
Recent statistics of the school for 2014/2015 school year indicate that out of a total population of 338, there was a ratio of 179 girls to 159 boys.
Similarly, for the 2015/2016 school year, out of a total school enrolment of 342, there were 173 girls and 169 boys. Meanwhile, the 2017/2018 school enrollment at the New Hope Academy records 218 girls and 198 boys.
The theme of this year’s gala anniversary is: “Enhancing education through social integration”. The gala activities started on May 14, which coincided with the observance of Liberia’s 54th National Unification Day.
During the anniversary celebration, the school organized a day-long class league as a means of bringing the students together to celebrate the Unification Day.
The Gala Anniversary was characterized by beauty pageant, talent show, quizzing; and a parade along the principal streets of Paynesville with both the King and Queen of the Academy. Various winners from the contest received certificates and other prizes.
At least twenty-six teaching staff along with several parents participated in this year gala day celebration.
Better Future Foundation (BFF), an accredited non-profit organization based in Liberia serves as the principal sponsor in creating awareness about the academic and other resource needs of the New Hope Academy.
In its advocacy, BFF prioritizes education as the first step out of poverty, a path to self-sufficiency and self-esteem. It also regards illiteracy as the major impediment to human development, including the right to education, the right to resources for a decent standard of living and the right to participate in community building.
BFF says central to its advocacy is the cultivation of partnership and collaboration with national and international educational stakeholders for the acceleration of learning activities at the New Hope Academy with focus on technical and vocational education (TVET) to empower girls, particularly underprivileged adolescents.