The Management of steel giant ArcelorMittal based in Yekepa, Nimba County, says it has spent over US$500,000 to renovate two major schools in that part of the country.
Making the disclosure to Information Minister Lewis Brown, who was on a tour of the company’s facilities in Yekepa, Nimba County on Friday, the General Manager and Chief Technician, Prayaga Sreenivas Prasad, said this was ArcelorMittal’s own way of buttressing government’s effort to improve the country’s education sector.
Prasad told Minister Brown that the schools, which are situated in the concession area, are intended to serve both the children of staff and those of the community.
Once the LAMCO Area School System (LASS) High School, is now ArcelorMittal School System High School, and Area “B” Elementary School, the two upgraded institutions, currently have an enrollment of 13,000 students, boasting a laboratory, library and computer lab.
The Manager also said ArcelorMittal pays an educational grant of US$280 per annum to workers whose children are not in the company’s school system or if it does not have a school in a particular area where it operates, adding, “this covers up to five children”.
He said the company also provides an annual international scholarship grant valued at US$200,000 for students wishing to take up courses in mining engineering, civil engineering and geology, among others.
He said the company provides scholarships in those areas because it is experiencing “a very serious challenge of lack of manpower in these areas.”
The Manager said the company also provides local scholarships for students who are willing to take up courses in the sciences, adding that the company is in need of technicians.
Prasad said ArcelorMittal also provides technical, financial as well as manpower support to the Tubman University, University of Liberia and community colleges, including the Nimba Community College, where several expatriates teach courses.
Arcelormittal is an iron ore mining company that has an investment worth billions of dollars in Liberia, and is operating in three counties — Nimba, Bong and Grand Bassa with over 3,000 employees.