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Liberian Daily News Bulletin: Three items on educational funding

Star Radio (Monrovia), 29 January 2000

Monrovia - The Ministry of Education has expressed concerns about the delay in paying public school teachers in Nimba County. Deputy Education Minister Peter Ben said he's worried that this would affect the educational system in the County.

Mr. Ben called on the Finance Ministry to pay the teachers. National Teachers Association of Liberia source alleged the Finance Ministry has with held the teachers' checks. The source said with holding of the checks followed a problem between students and a local Finance Ministry official in Nimba. The students allegedly damaged the home of the Ministry's paymaster in Sanniquellie. Finance Ministry is reported to be demanding the repair of the building as a precondition to disbursing the teachers' salaries. Finance Ministry authorities declined to comment when contacted. The 500 teachers are now in Monrovia to settle the payment of their salaries. A spokesman for the teachers said the government owes them 11months salary arrears. Mr. Weah Tugbeh said the delay in disbursing their pay was causing them problems.

* Parents in Marshall City are calling on government to underwrite this year's West African Examination (WAEC) fees. The parents said the examination fees were too high for most of them to afford. Mr. Peter Afari speaking for the parents said most of their children might not sit the exams if government does not assist them. 12th graders sitting this year's WAEC exams are required to pay more than LD$500 and ninth graders are paying above LD$300. Mr. Afari said most parents in Marshall City and surrounding villages were either fishermen or government employees. He said their meager salaries could not afford to underwrite the tuitions and exam fees for the children. Junior and senior high students are to sit the WAEC by May this year. Government last year paid the WAEC exams fees for students through out the country.

* Renovation work on Arthur D. Peabody Junior High School has been completed in Marshall City, Margibi County. The United Nations Office for Projects Services (UNOPS) renovated the eight-room school building. The principal of the school told star radio the school was also provided chairs, benches, tables and blackboards. Mr. Alfred Macorlee said the school is the only Public school in Marshall City, Margibi County. The school has about 400 students. UNOPS also provided a hand pump and dug a pit latrine for the school. Mr. Macorlee is calling on government to improve the paying system of the teachers in the school. He said most of the teachers in the school were not on payroll. Names of seven of the eleven teachers have reportedly not been on payroll for nearly years.