‘We Want Our School Fees’
Hundreds of students in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County yesterday stormed the county’s administration building where the Vice President Joseph Boakai, Cabinets Ministers, Lawmakers and international partners were launching the country’s first county services center, to demand their school fees from the Government of Liberia.
The students were seen carrying placards, fliers as well as chanting anti-government slogans: “we sick and tired of the inconsistent of this government; we will fight and die for our right; we don’t want promotion, we want school fees; and let justice be done to all students.”
Trokon S. Kangar- President of the Grand Bassa Student Union who led the protest, told Journalists that they were disenchanted with the government’s recent decision to close schools across the County, not being cognizant of the struggle their parents underwent to have them in school.
“This government is not in the interest of the common Liberian people, so they do anything at anytime they wish. Our parents are selling- some are making farms just to have us educated, but this government is not looking at these struggles; we will not leave the streets; even when it causes us paying our way to Monrovia to block the streets so our cries can be heard, we will do it,” student Kangar threatened.
He also noted that the recent pronouncement by the Minister of Education to promote students in other classes except 9th and 12th grades is unacceptable and will not be given credence, adding that all students want to be treated in accordance.
The intervention of Grand Bassa Representative Gabriel Buchanan Smith at the peak of the protest attracted the attention of the aggrieved students. Representative Smith appealed for claim, also promising that Bassa Lawmakers along with others will assiduously work with the Ministry of Education to find solutions to their problems.
Also receiving a petition from the protesting students, Vice President Boakai admonish them to return to their respective homes and schools, appreciating them for the patience and responsible manner in voicing out their disenchantment.
“This is the way we believe our country should go- peaceful demonstration when you have a problem; we receive the petition and I want to assure you that whatever we do in this have to be in the interest of our youth because you are the future leaders of this country,” Vice President Boakai told the students as he received their petition.
VP Boakai also pointed out that upon noticing the disappointment of the youth of Liberia, the government needed to take time into it, assuring the students that upon his arrival in Monrovia, he would report and present their views to President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. By Ben P. Wesee - Edited by George Barpeen