The Principal and Administrator of the Haywood Mission School, Rev. Dr. Leo Simpson has stressed the need to design appropriate learning activities which will be affordable and accessible, to all levels of students that, will pre-occupy their minds and motivate learning.
He noted that this program will enable the students to have access, to active learning activities out of the classroom in all subject areas.
He said this enable students, to continue their normal academic activities out of the classroom (at home and motivate students, to cultivate the habit of learning, while out of the active classroom;
The veteran educator pointed out that this would also encourage students, to develop themselves academically, allow teachers, to continue to motivate students, in the teaching-learning process and that it would also enable teachers fully cover course contents for the remaining marking periods, as well as the Final Examination for the Academic Year.
He said the target beneficiaries of the program are all students in the grade school system, throughout the country, at all levels: (Nursery to Secondary (12 Grade) and that it would be implemented through a “Home-learning” approach, by adopting the following strategies.
Dr. Simpson, in his open letter, said teachers at all school levels will be encouraged and instructed, to prepare lesson tips (summary notes) based on the course contents that will be dispatched, to students through their parents via the office of the school’s Principal/Registrar.
But he was quick to say that principal will cross-check the lesson notes, to ensure that such notes are within the course content and have met the objectives of the topics for the given marking period; SEE FULL TEXT BELOW
Compliments of my highest esteem!
Sir, on behalf of all public and private school principals, administrators, teachers, students, parents and guardians, I write in this public manner, for you, sir, to kindly prevail upon the Hon. Minister of Education to allow all school administrators, principals and teachers who are willing and ready, to constructively engage their students, who unlike the marketers, supermarkets, material stores, restaurants, hotels, motels, gas stations and guest houses amongst others are confined at home away from their respective school campuses. Sir, the academic life of our precious and valuable students is placed on hold, with the acquiescence of the Education Minister.
Mr. President, needless to remind you, Sir, that the overwhelming majority of the students, who are effectively barred from their various school campuses, by the Hon. Minister of Education are the grass root children, many of whom may have voted for you, are in search of formal education.
It is said and it is very true that: “He/She who opens a school door closes a prison door.”“Education is the bedrock of any nation.”
Equally sir, he/she who closes one school door, opens wide the doors to grinding poverty crippling diseases and above all else despicable ignorance.
Mr. President, with our acute sense of responsibility to our students, when schools were ordered closed down, due to COVID1 9 pandemic, Mr. Richardson A.S. Kromah and Rev. K. Zubah Kollie, Executive members of the National Association of Liberia School Principals (ALSP) met face to face with Hon. Felecia Doe-Sornah, Assistant Minister of Education, to appraise her of the program that ALSP was envisioning for all of our students, who were sitting at home deprived of formal education. During the said meeting, Assistant Minister Doe-Somah asked ALSP to reduce their plan in writing, which without any delay the members obliged. The document in question was forward to Assistant Minister Doe-Sornah via e-mail.
Mr. President, the Ministry of Education endorsed/approved the crafted plan by ALSP. Sir, portion of the said plan of action for our valued students is captured below for your easy perusal, for the benefit of our students, who are prohibited from footing on their school campuses by our Education Minister, whereas, people are gathering by their numbers in different places from 6AM — 3PM daily.
“The government f Liberia through the Ministry of Education has had as a priority of its Pro-Poor Agenda, the provision of basic quality education for its citizenry.
This year on, this agenda has been challenged, by a global health crisis caused by the outbreak of the Coronavirus, COVID- 19.
As a result of this pandemic, schools have been ordered suspended, in order to monitor and collectively combat this deadly virus.
However, the National Association of Liberia School Principals realizing that, the suspension of schools may not only interrupt its normal academic calendar, but also creates a psychological stress on the students, has decided to find an alternative to enforce the learning activities of students from Nursery, to the Secondary School levels.
This realization is in fulfillment of the fact that, education is a continuous process, by which an individual or group of individuals are processed through formal (in the classroom) or informal (out of the classroom) learning.
It is against this background that, this proposal-”COVID- 19 Emergency Home- Learning Program” seeks to provide an alternative approach to the teaching! learning process, so as to compensate for the time spent out of active learning activities in the classroom.
It is often said that “An idle mind is the devil’s workshop”. In addition, in the UNESCO’s preamble, it is stated that, “Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defenses of peace must be constructed”.
Although the current global challenge to the education sector is not the result of military hostilities, rather, it is a psychological war, in that it works in the minds of individuals, including our students; thus, causing some mental instability that could likely discourage or limit learning.
Hence, there is a need to design appropriate learning activities which will be affordable and accessible, to all levels of students that, will pre-occupy their minds and motivate learning.
Therefore, this program will enable the students to have access, to active learning activities out of the classroom in all subject areas.
The overall objectives of the program are as follow:
To enable students, to continue their normal academic activities out of the classroom (at home);
- To motivate students, to cultivate the habit of learning, while out of the active classroom;
- To encourage students, to develop themselves academically;
- To allow teachers, to continue to motivate students, in the teaching-learning process;
- To enable teachers fully cover course contents for the remaining marking periods, as well as the Final Examination for the Academic Year.
The target beneficiaries of the program are all students in the grade school system, throughout the country, at all levels: (Nursery to Secondary (12 Grade)).
The program will be implemented through a “Home-learning” approach, by adopting the following strategies”.
- Teachers at all school levels will be encouraged and instructed, to prepare lesson tips (summary notes) based on the course contents that will be dispatched, to students through their parents via the office of the school’s Principal/Registrar.
- The Principal will cross-check the lesson notes, to ensure that such notes are within the course content and have met the objectives of the topics for the given marking period;
- Teachers, as a part of preparing their lesson notes, will follow the demands of a “scheme of work”;
- Teachers will be encouraged and instructed, to give assignments to ensure that learning objectives are achieved (see scheme of work attached).
The Ministry of Education, in collaboration with the School Systems in the country, will provide the needed materials, to ensure that the program’s objectives are achieved.” (Plan of action ends).
Sir, the Minister of Education went on public media and heralded/lauded the plan produced by the ALSP. He went as far as commending and praising the crafters of the plan and while he was on the social media, he appealed to public school principals to emulate ALSP. Why will he then somersault thereafter?
Mr. President, based upon the approval of the Education Minister, the majority of private school administrators or principals started to produce study notes and questions for each of their students, at a hefty financial cost and immense human labor. For most of the schools this was for their or 5th Marking Periods.
The Minister of Education lucidly stated on social media that the study notes and questions would be used for the incomplete marking periods and the final examination for the current academic school year.
Still while Education Minister was on social media, he stated that, he has assembled together the best and the brightest minds at the Ministry of Education into a committee for the sole objective of figuring out how to climax this disrupted school year and that, school principals were to hear from him within one week’s time.
Is halting all school activities and baring students and their honorable parents/guardians from entering their school campuses, the product of the best and brightest minds which the Minister boasted about? I really hope and pray not.
Mr. President, the Minister of Education pronounced on social media that, he was going to have full consultations with the secretariat of the various private school systems with regards to how to end this school year. Did this ever obtain? I doubt it, sir.
It was more than heart wrenching sir, when we were busy trying to keep the thousands if not a million of restless and in some cases, directionless and more than energetic young people, who are confined at home, of no fault of their own engaged through the production of study notes and questions, at no cost to the students or their parents/guardians. The Education Minister trashed our efforts on social media for the unauthenticated manufactured reasons:
That students were seen on some school campuses hugging and/or embracing:
that they were jammed up together.
I wonder if the Hon. Minister has ever visited any of the open air markets, a bank or if he has visited Clara town or Via town? What is obtaining at these places cannot be compared to a school campus, where the students or their parents/guardians are allowed unto the campus, one person at a time, strictly observing the health protocols, to receive or return their packages.
That one of the government school principals died from COVID19.
The death of one school principal is indeed a great loss and we are extremely sorry for the death of one of our own. However, this should not serve as a reason to completely put a halt on the production of expensive study notes and questions, which will keep our restless children academically engaged with credit attached.
Mr. President, the Education Minister persists on social media, aided by the Deputy
Minister of Education for Administration and the Director of Communication at the
Ministry of Education to publicly lambast, lampoon, disparage, ridicule and belittle
private school administrators and principals: failing to come to turn with the irrefutable truth that, there are more private schools than public schools in Liberia, where education is not a constitutional or birth right, but rare privilege for the very few, as there are said to be 300,000 Liberians of school age Liberians who are not attending any school. Some of them are risking their irreplaceable lives selling on public streets between moving vehicles, while others are on motor bikes which is a dead end job, breaking their backs today for tomorrow.
Mr. President, it is shocking to note that, the Hon Minister has repeatedly threaten to withdraw the permit to operate a private school in Liberia of any private school Principal or Administrator who dares to violate his edicts or decrees by social media.
Is the Minister of Education that oblivious to the ’cause and effect?’ If the Minister was to be true to his public threats and close down one school, what will he do with the hundreds of the people’s children he could have displaced, just to prove a point.
Mr. President, please prevail on the Education Minister, to single out the schools and their principals, where in the words of the Minister students were hugging and/or embracing each other. Let him please make public those violating schools for which about a million or more students are fed the bread of frustration. I am sure he must have some pictures of the violating schools with the students HUGGING one another.
Sir, why must the Hon Minister of Education terminate a much needed study notes and questions which from the onset, he and his entire senior staff unquestionably supported? Why the flip flop, at such a critical time in the history of Liberia and world? Why is the Minister frustrating people, who are already traumatized and losing hope?
Mr. President, I wish for you to know that, for most of the private schools the study notes and questions were on track: the students and their parents/guardians were very appreciative and happy for the concrete interest exhibited by the schools for their academic progress. This program was up and running with deliberate speed unlike the Ministry of Education school or learning by radio, that dropped the ball, during the first week of operation.
Sir, one cannot help but wonder out aloud. How effective is the learning or school by radio? How many students are actually glued to their radio, when the learning or school by radio comes on? Who is monitoring the effectiveness of this learning by radio? How will this learning or school by radio be evaluated and who will do the said evaluation? What is the cost attached to the said radio program? Why throw money we may not have to the wind?
Finally, Mr. President, please intervene on behalf of the million students, who are restricted to their homes, while their academic activities are terminated. For these young people time is crucial and it is not waiting for them. Please Mr. President, have the Education Ministry restore the study notes and questions just like it was before in the supreme interest of all Liberian students and parents/guardians.
God bless you, Mr. President and save the Republic of Liberia, in the midst of the deadly COVID19 pandemic.
Haywood Mission Institute
Pentecostal Assemblies of the World.