Via FrontPageAfrica: ‘Poor Show’: Some Schools Resume Classes in Liberia. Excerpt:
The resumption of schools in Liberia got off to a slow start Monday, as many schools in the country did not reopen as expected. In Monrovia, most of the Private schools appeared to have opted to resume classes on March 2, 2015, the previous date announced by the government before it somersaulted less than a day later to February 16. Students turned up at the William V. S. Tubman High School one of the most prestigious government-run high schools in the country in drops.
Many of the students were seen in color clothes instead of uniforms with some wearing flip-flops on their feet. They seemed happy to be back though after the long break caused by the deadly Ebola Virus Disease.
Theo Jallah, a student at the school said he could not be in school because he only had a uniform shirt and no trousers. He said things have been tough and he lost a lot during the Ebola Outbreak.
“I cannot wear a uniform to school right now because I don’t have it. I have lose many things during the last year and the Ebola situation made it worse,” he said.
Peter Okoka, a 12th grader says he is happy to be back in school because he just sat at home idle with nothing to do. “I feel so happy because for some time now we have been sitting at home and some of us are getting older and we are thinking how we can finish grade school, but now the Ebola has prevented us for some time from coming to school. Now we see ourselves back, I’m very happy to be here,” he said.
Weah Diggs, a Student also in Grade 12, was dressed in ordinary clothes rather than her uniform, but says she does not feel safe, but is tired sitting at home and not going to school.
“It is not really safe because as you know, we will be interacting with many students who are from different homes; meet with different people, so it won’t be like I’m really safe,” she said. “So, it is left with me how I would be able to take the precautions that our instructors have given us, like washing our hands; mainly they stressed on washing hands.”
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) stated that it has provided just over seven thousand kits to over four thousand schools across Liberia in an effort to help keep students safe from Ebola.
“UNICEF has really helped with a lot of the School reopening by providing some of the basic hygiene kits (if you like) and these includes buckets, brooms, gloves, the thermometers that help with checking temperatures of students as they enter,” said Rukshan Ratnam, Communications Specialist at UNICEF in Liberia.
“And we’ve provided big drums to schools like this, so that schools can have hand-washing stations at the entrance and also close to toilets and other areas as well. And basically helping teachers, students and administrators keep students safe.”