The Informer (Monrovia)

28 January 2013

Liberia: Leaman Public School Receives Safe Drinking Water After 54 Yrs

Leaman Elementary and Junior High School (LEJHS) in Nimba County has for the first time received safe drinking water since its establishment in 1959. The development came as a result of renovation of the school done by the Ministry of Education (MOE) with support from UNICEF and the Japanese government.

Speaking to The Informer on the school's campus recently in Vayenglay, Wialay Clan, Soe Chiefdom, Twah River District, Principal Peter G. Winpea said through the MOE renovation work started on the school's edifice in May 2012 and was expected to end this January.

He averred that the renovation includes painting, removing and replacing of damaged doors and patching of verandas.

Principal Winpea added that other major works include the construction of a hand pump and a four-room modern flush toilet with septic tanks.

"The modern flush toilet will replace a pit latrine that has been here for decades," he added.

Giving brief account of the then Vayendglay Public School, now LEJHS, the former principal and an alumnus of the school, Mr. James B. Langar, said that the school was established by the late Peter Weamie.

He explained that Mr. Weamie, was a Nimbaian who resided in Firestone where he worked as a laborer for the Firestone Rubber Plantation.

"But during his stay in Firestone as a child, he was also fortunate to have attended one of the company's schools and stopped in the fifth grade.

"Because of his love for education, when Mr. Weamie returned from Firestone in 1958 and opened and conducted a study class in the town for two years. However, when the attendance began to swell, a request was made to the local government for a teacher. Mr. Paul Dolo was assigned as the first teacher by the government in 1961. But Mr. Dolo was compensated by the town people," stated Mr. Langar.

Talking about his association with the LEJHS, Mr. Langar said he took up assignment as a classroom teacher in 1986.

"At that time, Vayenglay Public school was without toilet and safe drinking water. This situation caused serious problems for a school with an enrollment at the time of about 600 students," the formal principal noted.

Mr. Langar added that when he took over the school as principal the girls were asked to draw water from the town to the school campus. "Later a spot was given to a French teacher on the school campus to live, and the well dogged in his yard was used by both teachers and students," he continued.

Narrating how modern education started in the chiefdom, alumnus Langar said prior to the opening of school in the chiefdom, government used to collect children from each clan and send them to school in the county's capital, Saniquelle.

"This gave birth to education in this chiefdom," the ex-principal explained.

Meanwhile, the administration of LEJHS has heaped praises on the government for what they termed as "timely intervention that has given the school a face lift and new feature.

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