By: Nathaniel Success Tokpah
A group of students in Nimba under the banner “Progressive Student Movement of Nimba” (PROSMON) Monday petitioned the Ministry of Education through local stakeholders in the Nimba to open schools across the country.
The Progressive Student Movement of Nimba is a conjunction of students from high schools, colleges, and universities who consider the present closure of schools as an infringement against their rights to education.
The students from different institutions held placards in their hands as they conducted a peaceful march through the street of Ganta demanding the government to reopen schools.
PROSMON said the doors of schools need to be opened under strict health guidelines as it is been done for the twelve graders, government entities, and other public places.
Normal academic activities were suspended across the country in March following the outbreak of the COVID-19 in the country.
Following a peaceful march, the aggrieved students assembled at the office of the District Educational Officer (DEO), where their petition statements were read by the Secretary-General, Melekeh Gbuapaye.
In the petition statement, the students disclosed that their petition was triggered by the increase in the consumption of illicit substances by students, the high rate of teenage pregnancies, and the increase in rape cases across the country since the closure of schools across the country.
Meanwhile, the students have given a seven-day ultimatum to the government through the education ministry to positively respond to their demands if not they will have no alternative but to mobilize more students and march on campuses in the county to obstruct the ongoing WASSCE preparation for twelve graders.
Mr. Abel Legay, the District Educational Officer of Bain-Gar, accepted the petition on behalf of the government and promised to have it turned over to the County Educational Officer.
He further appreciated the group for peacefully conducting themselves in the call for the reopening of schools and assured them that the government was going to respond to them in the soonest possible time, but reminded them that the closure is as a result of the deadly virus which has engulfed the world and Liberia being no exception.