The Inquirer is a leading independent daily newspaper published in Liberia, based in Monrovia. It is privately owned with a "good reputation".

Educator Pleads For 12th Graders’ Graduation

The principal of the Haywood Mission Institute, Bishop Leo M. Simpson, is appealing to the Ministry of Education to allow 12th graders who are eligible for graduation have their ceremonies. Bishop Simpson said it will be an affront to students and their parents who are being traumatized already by the coronavirus pandemic and have waited patiently to be prevented from celebrating their children who passed both the exams and in the school.
Speaking to this paper in an exclusive interview at his Haywood Mission offices on the Old Road, Bishop Simpson stated that the Ministry of Education’s decision not to allow students graduate this academic year is only intended to marginalize and suppress private school administrators, struggling parents and self-care students.
Making reference to his grandson’s recent graduation ceremony in the USA, the Haywood Mission Institute principal wondered, “If schools like the Columbus Ohio in USA, where COVID-19 is on the rampage with multiple deaths by the day, yet they still had a graduation ceremony for their students, then what about Liberia whose death rate has not reached hundred? Why can’t we allow our students and parents have their graduation ceremonies?”
“Honorable Ministers of Education and Health, before you use the COVID-19 as your prime reason for depriving all these deserving Liberian seniors to fully participate in their graduation ceremonies, you should first take into consideration that market places, gaming casinos and entertainment centers, taxis, kehkehs and motorcycles among others are all in total violation of the various instituted health protocols,” Bishop Simpson indicated.
Bishop Simpson further stated that whatever the hidden reason is behind both the government’s decision to unjustifiably deny and or deprive senior students from holding graduation ceremony only shows that the school administrators and proprietors are irresponsible to ensure that the students and parents are unable to abide by health protocols.
“Why are you playing with the students and their parents as they are already traumatized and need some hope in these critical times of our country and you cannot punish the students in this form and manner?” Bishop Simpson complained.
Meanwhile, Bishop Simpson said that he is not in support of the recent pronouncement on the resumption of schools for the remaining grade levels stating, “I do not agree with anything from the Minister. His latest decision is problematic and also aimed at causing a lot of inconvenience for our students, schools administrator and their parents.”
He said the latest decision to reopen schools by the MoE was not discussed with various schools administrators and added, “This unilateral MoE decision is totally wrong and should not happen to our students. The same Minister of Education on his radio show dubbed ‘Conversation with the Minister’ said the kids were at risk to be at home and as such, they need to return to the schools and complete the academic year while the schools take the responsibility of ensuring that all health protocols are adhered to. I agree with him, but to my utmost dismay, he along with the Health Minister reopened schools without prior discussions with the schools’ administrators.”

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