The New Dawn (Monrovia)

20 February 2013

Liberia: Catholic Schools in Harper Get L$50,000 Fine

The Roman Catholic School System in Maryland County has been fined L$50,000.00 for what is described as "disobedience" to government.

The system school is reprimanded having failed to observe the February 12, 2013 national holiday declared in honor of the Guinean military personnel, who died in a plane crash in Liberia, on February 11, 2013, while coming to grace celebration marking the 56th Armed Forces Day in Monrovia.

The punishment sanctioned by the Ministry of Education in Monrovia was announced to the Catholic Schools in the county by Chief Education Officer, James Bartee.

In a confirmation to this paper Tuesday via mobile phone from Harper, Bartee said the fine was imposed upon instruction from the Assistant Minister of Education for Basic and Secondary Education, Felecia Doe-Somah.

"As I speak to you, a letter has been prepared for delivery to the Catholic School System in Maryland. In the communication, the account where the money supposed to be deposited is being mentioned," Bartee noted.

The Catholic Church, which has made tremendous contributions to the human resource development in Liberia, runs four schools in Maryland, including two primary level and two secondary schools.

They are Our Lady of Fatimah Primary (Elementary) School and Our Lady of Fatimah Secondary School. Others are Bishop Darlieh Primary School and the St. Francis Secondary School.

It is not known whether the Catholic School System in Maryland was the only culprit, or other institutions were involved in disobeying the abrupt holiday declared by the Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces of Liberia President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, for the lost of the Guinean soldiers, who were coming to celebrate with the country.

Among those killed in the crash were the Chief of Staff of the Guinean army General Souleymane Kelefa Diallo; Maha Diallo, Presse Militaire; Diallo Mamodou Conde, Interpreter; Pilot Col. Mamadou Celou Dalin Diallo, Soriba Diawara and Mohamed Koumbassa, several civilians and crew members.

The official 3XGGG-Cassa 235 aircraft conveying them developed technical problems in midair after it lost contact with the Air Control Tower at the Roberts International Airport and crash landed in Charlesville, bust in flame, killing all 11 occupants onboard.

Meanwhile, aviation authorities from the Unites States, Liberia and Guinea are investigation the cause of the crash; writes TKS.

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