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President Weah Underscores Government Determination to End COVID Pandemic Despite Dire Challenges

 

(July 27, 2020 - Monrovia, Liberia): The President of the Republic,  H.E. Dr. George Manneh Weah, has bemoaned the impact coronavirus is having on the country and its people, severely crippling livelihoods and the national economy.


Like the rest of the world, Liberia remains heavily burdened by the devastating effects of the virus for months.
 

In a speech delivered Monday, July 27, 2020 at ceremonies commemorating Liberia's 173rd independence, President Weah said for several months now the coronavirus plague continues to emit its venomous toxins , causing the destruction to the lives of millions of people across the globe.
 

"Liberia has not been spared by the ravishes of this deadly disease," the Chief Executive said. He however indicated the country was in a much better position in terms of the number of infections and deaths because of its Ebola experience, as well as professional handling of the situation.
 

The Liberian Leader, who recounted precautionary and preventive measures earlier deployed by the government to stamp out the virus, said further, "Our economy and our people are still severely affected by the negative  consequences of the pandemic."
 

"Not surprisingly, it has caused drastic downtown in business activities and a consequent decline in revenue generation, as well as resulted in food shortages, rising inflation and negative projections in GPD growth," President Weah pointed out.
 

The President observed that the country is likely to endure the impact of the virus for a protracted period of time, but stressed that there was light at the end of the tunnel if Liberians came together in unison to fight the virus.
 

He urged Liberians to take cue from the constructive, instructive and  encouraging oration delivered by Rev. Dr. Simeon L. Dunbar, the 173rd Independence Day Orator.
 

The President said recommendations proffered by Orator Duncan’s oration bolstered hope that Liberia can conquer the virus once united,  focused, disciplined and determined.
 

President Weah reiterated his appeal to the people of Liberia to put aside their differences, whether political, social and religious, in order to overcome the virus.

 

At the same time, the Liberian Chief Executive promised his government's willingness and readiness to go extra miles in heightening its responsibility to the people and to bring to an end the COVID-19 chapter.
 

President Weah said there is a renewed impetus enabling his administration to uphold commitment towards improving the livelihood of the Liberian people.
 

The 173rd Independence Day, which was officially celebrated Monday, July 27 because the 26 was on Sunday, is the third observance of the National Day since President Weah assumed power.

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.

 

Pres. Weah Urges Liberians to Strengthen Bond, Forge Together in Unity as They Celebrate 173 Years of Independence

MONROVIA – President George M. Weah has urged citizens of of Liberia to use the celebration of the country’s 173rd Independence Celebration to strengthen bonds and forge ahead in order to consolidate the gains made together as a people over the years of independence.

In a brief statement, the President said, “I also beseech all citizens of faith including Christians, Muslims, traditionalists, etc. to offer prayers and kneel in supplication to God for peace, prosperity and happiness for the nation particularly in these difficult times of a global pandemic”.

He added: “Liberians are a strong and determined people, with our resilience and the blessings of the Almighty God, we will overcome all trials and tribulations besetting our country and see even better days ahead.”

 

President Weah Urges Dialogue to Resolve ECOWAS Single Currency Deadlock

(Monrovia, Liberia) - The President of Liberia, H.E. Dr. George Maneh Weah has called on West African leaders to continue to work in the spirit of African solidarity and unity in order to resolve differences over a new single currency program amongst member states of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

 

He said the only way out of the current deadlock is through "informed and cordial dialogue" between the francophone and anglophone blocs.

 

The Liberian Leader was speaking on Tuesday, June 23, 2020, during a virtual conference of heads of state of the West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ). The meeting was convened by WAMZ Sierra Leonean President, Julius Madaa Bio to discuss differences that have emerged following a decision by countries that make up Francophone West Africa to go ahead with adopting a version of the ECO as their official currency ahead of a planned date agreed upon by regional member states.

 

President Weah believes negotiations and diplomacy can resolve the apparent misunderstanding. "We must open those channels now to de-escalate tension", he said.

 

President Weah recounted Liberia's recent history when the country benefitted from the unity of ECOWAS at the height of the country's civil war: "It was this solidarity that brought both English-speaking and French-speaking countries under the single banner of ECOWAS to Liberia to save lives".   

 

The President told his colleagues that the story reflected the solidarity that the founders of ECOWAS left with succeeding generations to cherish and protect.  "As we meet at this highest level", he said, "we must use this legacy wisely to preserve and protect the unity of our sub-regional organization"'.

 

He suggested that a special committee be set up to discuss with President Alassane Ouattara of Cote d'Ivoire, who made the adoption pronouncement on behalf of the Francophone bloc. 

 

President Weah said the goal of this committee would be to prevent the francophone West African Monetary Union (WAEMU) from implementing its version of the ECO in order to win the organization some time to continue to resolve this matter and "get the ECO back on course". He said the special committee should also seek an audience with French President Emmanuel Macron. 

 

The Liberian Leader's suggestion for a special committee was in sync with Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo, who stressed the importance of regional integration. President Akufo-Addo said it was critical to the Peoples of West Africa that the differences were settled as quickly as possible and the ECO made operational. He said the decision making of Francophone nations should have been more inclusive.

 

Nigeria's Muhammadu Buhari urged the need for regional countries to "come together on this issue". He highlighted the importance of the ECO and the progress that has been made - including the adoption of an exchange rate regime. He said it was a "matter of concern" that Francophone countries will go ahead with the adoption without consulting the rest of the union, but called for more engagement.

 

Tuesday's summit was attended by Anglophone West African countries, Liberia, Nigeria,  Ghana, Gambia, and Sierra Leone  joined by francophone Guinea.