Monrovia – In the wake of the increase in Coronavirus deaths and confirmed cases in Liberia, the Ministry of Education has formally announced the reopening of schools for 12th graders in the country.
According to acting Education Minister Dr. Alexander Doupu, the decision taken by authorities of the Ministries of Health, Education and the National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL), to admit 12th graders into physical, traditional schooling during this Covid-19 period, was made to ensure adequate preparation for the upcoming West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examinations (WASSCE).
Dr. Doupu is the Deputy Minister for Instruction at the Ministry of Education in Liberia.
He made the pronouncement at a news conference held in Monrovia over the weekend.
Minister Doupu emphasized that only 12th graders are allowed back to school beginning June 29, 2020, in preparation for the upcoming WASSCE examinations.
He added that the week of June 22 to 26, 2020, will serve as an orientation and preparation period to allow health authorities and school administrations to finally set up safe school requirements, as well as train teachers, support staff, and students on safety measures.
“Following consensus by West African Examination Council (WAEC) members’ countries, the President of the Republic of Liberia, H.E. Dr. George Manneh Weah, on June 5, 2020, mandated the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health to put in all mechanism by June 22, to ensure that 12th graders resume classes to adequately prepare for the West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examinations (WASSCE)”
“Though all of our students are eager to go to the classrooms, this opening is for the 12th graders only. Lessons which will commence on June 29 should focus on preparing 12th graders for WASSCE. The school days include Mondays to Saturdays or Mondays to Sundays”.
He pointed out that though 12th graders will return to the classrooms very shortly in Liberia, West African Examinations Council members’ countries are in final deliberations on the exact date for the administering of the WASSCE.
Minister Doupu indicated that following the deliberations, WAEC Liberia office will announce the exact date for the commencement of the WASSCE examinations.
He disclosed that the tentative period for the commencement of WASSCE is stated for mid-August 2020.
School contact hours and sessions
Minister Doupu noted that all schools will commence operations using the regular school hours to complete the prescribed academic activities for 12th graders.
He further mandated that all schools should also develop a one-shift schedule, to accommodate all students attending the morning, afternoon, and night sessions at the same time using multiple classrooms of a minimum number of students in adherence to physical distancing.
Safe School Protocol
At the same time, the acting Education Minister has announced that the Ministry of Health is expected to commence health safety training for school administrators and other support staff beginning June 22 to 23, 2020 in Montserrado County.