RIVERCESS COUNTY–The age-old problem of student agitations owing to lack of teachers at the only high school in RiverCess County is at the verge of being solved.
The hall hosting the graduation and closing exercises of the Cestos High School during the weekend turned into a center of jubilations and excitements when Mr. Sediki Fofona, the man serving as proxy for Guest Speaker Bill Twehway announced that three more teachers would be joining the teaching staff at the school. The absence of Mr. Twehway at the ceremony was due to his presence on President George Weah’s nationwide.
Already, there are two teachers whose services at the school are being funded by Mr. Twehway. The NPA boss had seen the need to complement the efforts of the County Education System by hiring the services of the two teachers when the need arose. The additional teachers would now bring to five the total number of teachers at his expense.
At the program, the Principal, Ben Yalley disclosed that the school at the moment lacks instructors for Biology, Chemistry, Physics, History and Economics.
The shortage of instructors is an age-old problem, provoking series of student protests.
One instance was in 2012, when the school experienced shortage of teachers owing to the departure of five United Nations Peacekeepers who were volunteering to teach there. This caused serious setback to the school system and affected the students’ performance, as Cestos high experienced mass failure in national examinations the following years.
In April 2015, dozens of aggrieved students of the school in demand for teachers stormed the county administration building, leading to the partial destruction of the county administrative complex.
Before then students of the school went on the rampage destroying the only vehicle belonging to the County School System.
Local Voices, a group that has been documenting challenges confronting the education sector, reported that during the 2017/18 academic year, pupils of the Charlie Town Public School could not begin classes because the school had only a teacher.
Benjamin Geeko, the principal of the school is quoted by Local Voices as saying: “Learning is not taking place in this school because one teacher cannot teach a school,” “When I came in this school, I met one government paid teacher and a volunteer, so we were three here, but the government transferred the other teachers from here.”
The group is also reporting that six public schools in the county are at the verge of being shut down due to the lack of teachers. Some of the schools either have a single teacher or no teachers at all.
They are Vah Town Public School, Sawpue Public School, Dorbor Public School, Gborwuzohn Public School, Gbardiah Public School and Gorzohn Public School.
The Gborwuzohn Public School did not operate for the 2019/2020 school year due to several challenges including lack of teachers. The only assigned government teacher was removed from the government’s payroll in 2018.