Monrovia — International Children’s Fund Regional Director Kolu Sakadola has stressed the need for national governments to invest in early childhood education if Liberia and its citizens are to move forward in terms of sustainable infrastructural and economic growth and development.
The foundation runs a free tuition program for less fortunate Liberian parents who cannot afford to send their children to other public or private schools in Margibi.
According to Mr. Manoue Shine Gbelema, Liberia will be a better place for all Liberians and foreign residents in the future if the government and other humanitarian and charitable organizations support the efforts of parents struggling to provide quality education to their children at the primary level.
He emphasized that investment in pre-school education will properly prepare children at the primary level to compete with their counterparts in other countries, thereby bringing pride not only to their respective families but also to the country in particular.
He made the call during a program to mark the first closure and graduation of Kolu Sakadola International Academy in Union Town, Margibi County.
The school scored highly in the just-conducted West African Examination Council (WAEC) for primary school students.
“There are many challenges in the education sector. If we are to move forward and move forward as a nation, our government, humanitarians and others must invest in early childhood education.”
Speaking further, Mr. Gbelema said the fund was established in August 2016 with a scholarship program in Montserada County and its environs.
He added that 243 students received scholarships in 2016-2018.
He recalled that in 2018, the feeding program for children was extended to Unification Town, Argibi. After three months of the initiative, he noted, the fund joined the youth empowerment program.
Mr. Gbelema highlighted that given the number of children registered for the feeding programme, the Board of Directors of the foundation decided to launch a tuition-free school in the district, leading to the establishment of Kolu Sakadola International Academy in 2019.
He stated that due to the lack of many classrooms in the institution, the school started from nursery to primary school, enrolling a total of 350 students from the communities that were already registered for the feeding programme.
“As an institution, we also continue to face many challenges. If we are to continue to provide quality education to these less fortunate students, we will need the full involvement of national governments, humanitarian and other NGOs in partnership with Kolu Sakadola International Academy. to continue this dream, we will also need a modern library, computer lab, study materials and a dignified environment.”
“Our arms are open to all to come to the aid of what we have termed future leaders who need to be shaped for the future before the next generation we all depend on is left behind, it requires the full participation of all including stakeholders , government officials, distinguished citizens and benefactors.”
Mr. Gbelema said the foundation’s vision is to actively contribute to the social and economic development of the communities in which it operates and to be an organization that will continue to respond to changing social realities through the development and application of knowledge to develop a sustainable society , which promotes and protects equality, social justice and human rights for all.
He pledged that the foundation would continue to rescue orphans, vulnerable and abandoned children, youth, including young women, “before they are sold into misery by providing safe housing, education, spiritual guidance, medical care, love, support and a future free from slavery.”
However, he used the occasion to commend the foundation’s chief financiers, Madam Kola Sakadola Walters and Mr. Moses Walters, who now reside in the United States, for their tireless and unwavering contribution to the development of humanity in their homeland.
The foundation has also been involved in the construction of decent homes for aging, underprivileged Liberian mothers and the distribution of educational and other materials to thousands of citizens across the country.
Meanwhile, about 16 students graduated from the first grade of the school’s kindergarten.
Kindergarten teacher Erika Borbar thanked the parents for their immense and sacrificial contributions that they continue to make during the school year.
However, she urged her colleagues to continue to take the lessons seriously if they want to become productive citizens and contribute to the process of rebuilding the nation and improving the lot of their families.