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Liberia: Education Ministry Unfolds Plans for Reopening of Schools
MONROVIA – Following recent consultation with the health authorities, the Ministry of Education wishes to officially announce the reopening of schools for additional levels from 6th grade to 11th grade. The reopening is aimed at first completing the end of the Academic Calendar for 2019/2020 and the preparation for the new academic year 2020/2021. The admittance of students into physical school will be implemented in phases with 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th graders beginning and to be followed by 10th and 11th graders.
The Early Childhood Education level to 5th grade will not be enrolled in physical activities to complete the 2019/2020 academic year as more review is conducted to adequately plan for the opening of the ECE level for the next academic year. Schools are urged to facilitate the packaging of lessons as homework for the ECE to 5th-grade students and plan for a one-time assessment.
The school hour will run from 8:30 AM to 3:00 PM daily from Monday to Saturday and Sunday in the case of Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) School students. The following rollout of physical school activities and other plans are outlined for the school owners, students, education partners, and the general public:
12TH GRADERS COMPLETION
The 12th graders’ classes which began on June 29, 2020, will end on August 14, 2020. The West African Senior Secondary Certification Examination (WASSCE) is scheduled to start in Liberia on August 17, 2020, and end on September 2, 2020, which marks the full closure of the academic calendar for 12th graders for 2019/2020. Schools are urged to complete internal assessment by August 3, to 7, 2020, and finalize report cards for distribution on October 26 to 30, 2020.
Except otherwise advised by the Ministry of Health, there shall be NO assemblies for graduation ceremonies for all levels. The Status of the health risk shall dictates the course of action then and any options shall be announced as the time approaches.
ADMITTANCE OF 6TH, 7TH, 8TH, AND 9TH GRADERS
The 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th graders will begin classes on August 10, 2020, and end on October 3, 2020. Schools are required to focus the activities of the catch-up classes on core subjects’ lessons (Mathematics, Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies) to complete the academic calendar 2019/2020. Schools are also encouraged to conduct a continuous assessment based on the content covered during the catch-up classes through classwork, homework, project, and quizzes to obtain report for 4th marking period in the case of those schools that did not complete the test before the covid19 disruption of school and 5th and 6th marking periods, respectively.
ADMITTANCE OF 10TH AND 11TH GRADERS
The 10th and 11th graders classes will begin on October 5, 2020, and end on November 4, 2020. The subjects of focus for these grade levels are Mathematics, Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies.
COMPLETION OF 2019/2020 FOR ECE TO 5TH GRADE
The Early Childhood Education level to 5th grade will not be enrolled in physical activities to complete the 2019/2020 academic year as more review is conducted to adequately plan for the opening of the ECE level for the next academic year. Schools are urged to facilitate the packaging of lessons as homework for the ECE to 5th-grade students and plan for a one-time assessment. The lessons should be packaged into a weekly format outlining daily activities to guide the students and parents. Schools should also complete a study guide and any relevant information on final assessment of students and provided to parents. For assistance on developing these learning materials, kindly contact the Office of the Assistant Minister for Early Childhood Education and the Office of the Assistant Minister for Basic and Secondary Education, respectively.
All final assessment report cards for grades 1 to 11 for the Academic Year 2019/2020 should be completed and distributed by November 16, to 25, 2020, while grade 12 report cards should be completed and distributed by October 26, to 30, 2020.
The Ministry of Education wishes to emphasize that while the enforcement of hygiene rules and practices for a safe school environment is the school administrator’s responsibility, students, families, and communities also have an important role to play in ensuring compliance. Parents are required to continuously observe their children and if the child shows any symptoms of COVID19, and restrict the child from attending classes as well as contact the health team immediately.
Finally, the Ministry of Education reminds all that the Coronavirus pandemic is still a crisis and cautions the public to follow the health guidelines and safety protocols provided by the health authorities.