Residents of Bellemue Town in Panta District four, Bong County are calling on government to dedicate the newly constructed public high school in the area. Bellemue has an approximated population of 3,000.
Bellemue Public School
The Labalah Child Friendly High School project was constructed by the Liberian Government in 2014 with support from the Japanese Government in collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and implemented by a Chinese construction company. Since then, the building is yet to be used.
According to the Liberian Media Budget Monitoring for Accountability (LMBMA) project on County Social Development Fund (CSDF), the blue and white painted building has twenty-five rooms, including toilets, offices and an auditorium that can accommodate over eight hundred students at a time.
But Bellemue Town Chief, Jacob Koyo, speaking on behalf of his citizens, says the school is yet to be dedicated to the community; thereby denying children the opportunity to acquire primary education in a conducive learning environment in that part of Bong County.
“Some of us don’t have finance to support our children in schools that are in the urban area like Gbarnga. This is why we are calling on the government to dedicate the school for our children to acquire high school education in the district. The school, when not open will lead to increased rate of illiteracy in this town and other surrounding towns and villages,” chief Koyo says.
But the human resource officer of the Ministry of Education in Bong County Shalor Flomo Namue, has attributed the delay in the dedication to the lack of qualified instructors to take on assignment in the area.
The Liberian government has usually struggled with qualified instructors willing to take assignments in remote communities. Teachers, too, have blamed their unwillingness on lack of incentives and opportunity for higher learning in remote communities. As a result, most schools are without teachers outside Monrovia.
The Labalah Child Friendly High School, like other schools in Bellemue in Panta District, Seinzue in Jorquelleh, and Bong Mines in Fuamah District, is part of the Global Partnership Education (GPE) program.