The Inquirer (Monrovia)

19 November 2012

Liberia: Education Warns Against 'Super Friday'

The famous social jamboree referred to as "Super Fridays" has drawn the attention of the Ministry of Education thus warning both public and private school administrators to curtail the situation and institute measures that will keep the students in schools on Fridays.

In a memorandum to various school systems including private school principals and owners, the Deputy Education Minister for Instruction Dr. Mator M.F. Kpangbai said the Ministry has noticed that the issue of "Super Fridays" has become a tool to disrupt the smooth learning activities in schools across the country.

As a result of this, Dr. Kpangbai is quoted in the memorandum that the Ministry of Education takes serious exception to the practice and is therefore advising all schools to put an end to such ugly act.

Dr. Kpangbai disclosed that the Ministry task-force will be visiting beaches and all schools whose students are found on beaches will be sanctioned by the Ministry of Education.

The communication, which was written on October 30, 2012, with Carbon Copy (CC) to Etmonia David Tarpeh, Minister of Education, and her deputies, the National Teachers Association of Liberia (NTAL), the National Principal Association of Liberia (NPAL), appealed to school administrators to attach seriousness to the matter.

For the past months, Monrovia students have abandoned regular academic activities for what they referred to as "Super Fridays" on various beaches. "Super Fridays" from a social background means, the celebration of the schools' weekend.

On this particular day, students especially teenagers, both girls and boys from various quarters in Monrovia are seen elegantly dressed marching toward beaches all in the name of "Super Fridays".

The students do not only go to the beaches to swim but also engage in unpleasant behavior such as drinking alcoholic beverages and sometimes smoking cigarettes. The students usually take with them fashionable wears in their book bags unknown to their parents and school administrators and immediately change their uniforms during recess hours in preparation for "Super Fridays" festivities.

Interestingly, there are business people who take large consignment of beverages to those beaches for sales and make thousands of Liberian dollars from those students. When one visits there, he or she will be welcomed by ear-splitting music in all corners. The students usually assemble in palm-thatched huts to share bottles of alcoholic drinks and sticks of cigarettes in celebration of the "Super Fridays".

Grand Bassa County Representative Gabriel Smith had raised the issue with the Ministry of Education during a local radio interview blaming them for not instituting measures to halt the practice.

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