LIBERIA: First Lady Weah says Children’s Education is a Priority
First Lady Clar Marie Weah says the welfare of Liberian children, including their education, remains a top priority; noting that she is working with the Liberian government and partners to provide the needed support.
Mrs. Weah made the statement Thursday, March 21, 2019, during an assessment tour of four public schools: Konola and New 14 Road Public Schools in Margibi County and Nuquay and Nyehn # 2 Public Schools in Montserrado County.
The assessment is aimed at selecting six out of twelve proposed schools that would meet requirements set by the Ministry of Education, to benefit from a School Feeding Project being initiated through Mrs. Weah’s ‘Clar Hope Foundation’ in partnership with the China Research Development Foundation.
The project endeavors to improve education, health, and nutrition of school-aged children thus achieving an increase in students’ height and a decrease in the prevalence of anemia.
Increasing smallholder farmers’ income through structuring market demand from the school feeding program and improving their skills in agricultural technology are also part of the project’s objectives.
First Lady Weah said ensuring that students eat well while in school would not only motivate children of school going age to enroll and remain in school but also enhance their learning ability.
According to her, the intervention is intended to buttress government’s efforts through the Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development in addressing challenges to improve the national education system which was once termed as ‘a mess.’
Studies show that many children, especially in rural parts of the country, go to school hungry, a situation which contributes to poor learning outcome, poor health, and school dropouts.
During the tour, Mrs. Weah observed that the schools were faced with serious challenges ranging from lack of seats to poor infrastructure and unconducive environments.
However, the wife of President George Mannah Weah praised the students, teachers, parents, administrators and local authorities for their dedication to ensuring that the children acquire an education for a better and brighter future.
The First Lady reaffirmed her commitment to fulfilling her promise made during the launch of her foundation in June 2018 that she would assist in constructing and renovating two hundred schools in underprivileged areas across the country.
She also assured the respective schools of some support even if they are not selected for the school feeding program.
Speaking on behalf of the school system and the people of Margibi, the County Inspector Moses Gbangala along with the Acting County Education Officer, Joseph Gaye thanked the First Lady for reaching out to assist the schools.
For her part, Montserrado County Education Officer, Cecelia Reeves described the First Lady’s decision to visit the schools through such long distances as a breakthrough for the educational system.
Mrs. Reeves expressed profound gratitude on behalf of the Minister of Education and local authorities as she assured their willingness to collaborate with the First Lady to address challenges in the education sector.
Thursday’s tour by the First Lady marked the second phase of the ongoing exercise which seeks to cover twelve schools.
Earlier this year, Mrs. Weah visited the Shefflin Town and Charlesville Public Schools along the Robertsfield Highway and behind the Roberts International Airport respectively.