The Inquirer (Monrovia)

19 November 2012

Liberia: Supporting the Education Ministry's Decision

editorial

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 school administrators to put an end to such ugly act.

Dr. Kpangbai disclosed that the Ministry's taskforce will be visiting beaches and institutions whose students are found on those beaches to sanction them.

INDEED, WE SUPPORT such move by the Ministry of Education to ensure that students are restricted to carrying on these activities that are causing them to forget about their academic activities.

WHILE WE BELIEVE that students must be given the chance to enjoy themselves through recreation as a means of relaxing their minds, what we are now witnessing is more than students' recreation because there are lots of unwholesome activities ongoing on the various beaches.

THAT IS WHY we are supporting measures being taken by the Education Ministry to regulate the activities of students so that they can become good leaders of our country tomorrow.

AGAIN WE WANT to emphasize that our students must be studious and put their academic activities above social activities and say NO to 'Super Fridays".

THOUGH WE ENCOURAGE students to enjoy themselves, what is ongoing at the beaches are not good for any serious student. Remember that education is the foundation to success and any student who would want to succeed in life must prioritize his/her education though there will be room for social activities but not that extent of what we are now witnessing.

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 refer 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. The students usually assemble under palm-thatched huts on the beaches where they share bottles of alcoholic beverages 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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