LIBERIA: Education Ministry Extends Closure Of Schools To March 31, As WAEC Liberia Places Indefinite Postponement On All Examinations

Education Minister, Professor D Ansu Sonii

In an effort to stop the possible transmission of the coronavirus disease in Liberia, the Ministry of Education has further extended the resumption of all academic activities across the country to March 31, 2020.

It can be recalled that the Ministry of Education on March 15 announced the suspension of academic activities at all institutions of learning beginning March 17 to 23, 2020.

The mandate for the suspension of academic activities comes in the wake of recent confirmation by President George Weah of Liberia’s first coronavirus case after Mr. Nathaniel Blama, Head of the Environmental Protection Agency, tested positive following a visit to Switzerland.

MOE previously stressed that their action was aimed at ensuring that health authorities conduct a complete surveillance and tracing of those said to have arrived on the flight along with the infected person.

According to the latest statement, the Ministry is acting based on expert advice from the National Public Health Institute (NPHIL), and the Ministry of Health, to all parents, school administrators and students.

The Ministry noted that the coronavirus outbreak in the country remains a difficult time for Liberia and the world.

However, the statement assured the public that the highest priority of the Ministry is the safety and well-being of the students and teachers, citing that the Ministry will inform the public as soon it receives clearance to reopen schools.

Meanwhile, MOE disclosed that they and their partners are developing ways, through the media and other forms of technology, to keep students learning while they are at home, adding that they also encourage families to keep their children reading and studying at home.

The statement from the Education Ministry also urged the general public to adhere to all the health protocols of the Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Health, the National Public Health Institute of Liberia as well as their partners.

In a related development, the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) Liberia Office has announced an indefinite postponement of all its examinations across the country which was expected to begin on April 6, 2020.

“The Liberia National Office of the West African Examinations Council wishes to inform the public that WAEC in consultation with the Ministry of Education has placed an indefinite suspension on the conduct of all its Examinations for school candidates 2020, schedule to have begun on April 6, 2020 until further notice,” a statement from WAEC said.

WAEC Liberia attributed their action to the current coronavirus pandemic that has surfaced in the country with at least three confirmed cases and several suspected and high risk cases.

The release further indicated that the decision from WAEC will help strengthen health protocols that are being put in place by the Government of Liberia through health authorities to subsequently help prevent the spread of the disease.

“The affected Examinations are West Africa Senior Schools Certificate Examination for school candidates (WASSCE) 2020, the Liberia Junior High School Certificate Examination (LHSCE), and the Liberia Primary Schools Certificate Examination (LPSCE),” the statement indicated.

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About Cholo Brooks 13334 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.