MONROVIA, May 14-The Minister of Education, Professor Ansu Sonii has suspended all school activities that were aimed at giving student take home test and assignment.
The statement was made late Wednesday on state radio, on “Education hour” program.
“As far as planning lessons and distributing them to students, whether to parents or to students, whatever, we are asking all schools, across the length and breadth of this country to remain closed,” he said.
He added, “Just keep your door closed. Absolutely closed.” According to him, school administrators can invite their janitors to clean the school at times.
Earlier the ministry of Education informed all schools in Liberia to embark on giving test and assignments to students to take home and complete it. But he said, it was unfortunate that many parents did not understand what he meant.
He had said that such assignment and test would be taken home and brought on campuses only when schools reopen.
According to him, they have observed that students would meet in large numbers after receiving their assignments; which was against health protocols.
“We do not want students congregating on the campuses. Because when you allow students to come on campus, they are not only coming to pick up materials, they are coming to see their friends and stay on campuses and to get them from campus, it becomes difficult,” he said.
He said, once the Ministry of Health has not given greenlight, it is difficult for the Education ministry to proceed with anything that believes might undermine the COVID-19 fight
Avoiding the Spread of virus:
According to him, younger people can spread the virus as well as older people. He said, if anyone is affected, such person might take it home to spread to other family members.
“So if they were to congregate and someone has it, they would take it back to their families and they will be affected. The best thing, everybody please stop. STOP. When school resume June, we will complete the 4th period 5th , and 6th or in July, we take that in August or September. We will complete the academic year before we start on promotion.”
Violators to be penalized
He called on all private schools to abide by this directive as anyone going against it, would be penalized.
“The penalty is left with the Ministry of Education. The amount will be heavy that will hurt you. We can penalize you for two reasons; not only violating the rules we have given you, but violating the rules given during the time of the State of Emergency-SOE and the weight of the penalty will be serious.
He continued: “if you do not pay(he did not give any figure) is fine. All we will do is to disbar you as a school in this county and can not register your school for WAEC-West Africa Examination Council-a regional exam that is compulsory for every students to partake. Documents from WAEC are used for many purposes globally). “We will take your name off the list of WAEC altogether. Let me see which parent will carry their children to your school.”
Dr. Soni said they would like to reach to such level. “We do not want to threat anyone. we are educators, we should set the examples. We are the pace setters you can show the light and you walk back in darkness.”
He added, “We are the regulators. No school is operating as a ministry. we are working together.”
He said there are about 1.5million students in the country. “If we leave it loose, we get 1.5m students in school. One or two of them get it, they will take it back to their community and who knows, some people will get affected.”