Posted by: africanpressorganization | 28 August 2008

Liberia / Children’s education / UN Envoy urges Liberians to prioritize children’s education, commissions school project


Liberia / Children’s education / UN Envoy urges Liberians to prioritize children’s education, commissions school project


MONROVIA, Liberia, August 28, 2008/African Press Organization (APO)/ — UN Envoy Ellen Margrethe Løj has urged Liberians to encourage their children to go to school and to stay in school. She was speaking at a ceremony in Montserrado County where she commissioned Banjor Community School, newly rehabilitated by Nigerian Peacekeepers serving with the UN Mission in Liberia – UNMIL.


“All children – girls and boys need an equal chance,” she said, acknowledging the huge challenge faced by the Ministry of Education in revitalizing Liberia’s education sector. She said the challenge has been prioritized by the Government in Liberia’s Poverty Reduction Strategy and will be supported by international partners. She hailed the contribution of the Nigerian peacekeepers “as a small, but very important contribution towards the efforts being made by the government.”


She said that for 12 years and despite the civil conflict, the local community in Banjor did its best to sustain the school, but that “the efforts were inadequate to protect the school children and their teachers from heavy downpours and unbearable heat.” She also noted that even where children are eager to learn, these conditions are far from ideal. “School children and their teachers need an environment that is conducive to learning, to growth and development,” said Envoy Løj.


Addressing the gathering, on behalf of the Nigerian peacekeepers, Brigadier General Ezekiel Olofin, urged the community to ensure the sustainability of the project and said that “education is the bedrock of human development and serves as a parameter for any growth in society.”


The peacekeepers contributed personal finances and expertise to improve the facilities. They provided furniture, painted the school, renovated the roof and ceiling and built perimeter walls and exit gates, alleviating the discomfort suffered by Banjor’s children.


Speaking on behalf of the community, School Principal Mr. Andrew Tommy acknowledged with gratitude, the renovations done “as the first major efforts put in place in the twelve years of the school’s existence”.

Nigerian peacekeepers, in UNMIL are well known for their role and impact in Liberia’s rehabilitation and recovery efforts. This is not only by fulfilling UNMIL’s main mandate of providing security, but also through their humanitarian efforts.



SOURCE : Mission of UN in Liberia


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