By Patrick Stephen Tokpah
Gbarnga, Bong County: The Ministry of Education through its IRISE project has received a 13.5 acre of land from authorities in Bong County for the construction of a US$1.5 million state-of-the-art secondary school in the county. The project is supported by the World Bank.
Speaking at the turning over ceremony of the land recently in the county, IRISE project control specialist at the Ministry of Education, Lawrence S. Taylor narrated that the project was designed by the World Bank and the Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Education in June 2019 and begin effectively in November of the same year.
The project is being done by the “International Consolidated Contractors.”
He said the objective of the project is to provide equitable access and to improve the quality of learning in all secondary schools across Liberia.
He named improving access and learning environment at senior secondary schools in Liberia, supporting the expansion, renovation, and rehabilitation of one hundred fifty-six schools across the country, opportunities for girls to transition, and to complete senior secondary school, and improving the quality and relevance of senior secondary schools across Liberia as the four main components of the IRISE project.
Taylor said, under the first component, the project is targeting the construction of three new senior secondary schools in Nimba, Bong, and Margibi Counties; adding that those Counties were selected based on their distinct populations and geographical locations.
Remarking during the turning-over ceremony of the construction site, the Assistant Minister for Planning at the Ministry of Education, Dominic Kwame said the construction of the schools in the three selected counties is in fulfillment of President George M. Weah’s Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development.
Minister Kwame noted that the projects will be completed in fourteen months across the three counties; adding that the fourteen months duration is intended to dedicate the three projects during the first term of President Weah’s administration.
The Assistant Minister for Planning at the Ministry of Education then called on authorities of Bong County and all citizens residing in the County to cooperate with the contractors to fast-track the construction process.
Also, Bong County electoral District-three Representative, Josiah Marvin Cole cautioned the construction company to consult the County’s authority before hiring any local contractor company; adding that local contractor companies that have misused previous monies intended for developing Bong County will not be allowed to work with the construction company under his watch as a lawmaker of District#3.
Lawmaker Cole then cautions the construction company not to listen to too many recommendations from political actors who may want to recommend anyone or a group of people to work with the main contractors.
Meanwhile, a representative of the “International Consolidated Contractors” (I.C.C), Daniel Manah assured the Ministry of Education and partners to work closely with the community and Bong County’s authority to complete the project in the given timeframe.
According to him, his Company has done more than twenty-five projects across Africa; adding that both parties must abide by the rules and regulations of the agreement for the project to enable the implementation of the project without dissatisfaction to any party.