YMCA Turns Over Royesville High School to Government
At long last, Royesville has a high school. The official turn over and dedication of the Rebecca James Memorial High School recently took place in Royesville, Lower Montserrado County.
Presenting the keys of the school complex to the Ministry of Education, the Vice Chairman for Finance of the Liberia YMCA, Mr. Abraham B. Samukai said he was humbled on behalf of the national board of the Liberia YMCA that Madam Rebecca James could look back to remember the people of Royesville- by providing funds from her estate for the construction of a high school in Royesville.
“The challenges of young people she may have experienced in Royesville owing to the lack of a high school led Madam James in doing what she has done for you all.” Mr. Samukai said. “It is therefore my humble duty and pleasure to turn over the keys to the government of Liberia through the Minister for Education.” The YMCA official said.
Receiving the keys to the school complex, the outgoing Deputy Minister for Instructions, Hon. Hawah Goll-Kotchi asked for a minute of silence in memory of the Late Madam Rebecca James. Hon Goll-Kotchi through a family member, Momo Lee thanked Madam James for dedicating her treasure so that the children of Royesville can be educated.
“This should serve as an inspiration to others that when we leave our country, we must look back.”
Hon. Kotchi further said the completion of the construction of the school complex was “a pleasant surprise” as most Liberian contractors do not perform to expectation. She praised the YMCA for the stewardship and results delivered on the project.
Speaking to the challenges in the Liberian educational system, She told the gathering that the Ministry of Education will not accept volunteer teachers as the ministry wants qualified teachers to improve the learning outcomes of Liberian students; citing the mass failure in WAEC Exams.
She remarked that the government was committed to improving the quality of education and supporting the development of additional new educational facilities around the country.
Earlier, the National General Secretary of the Liberia YMCA, Mr. E. Edward Gboe said the Liberia YMCA was able to fulfill the wish of a daughter of Royesville and a patriot of Liberia by the completion and dedication of the school complex.
He praised the support of the Ministry of Education, the local leadership of Royesville and the International Division of the US YMCA.
He said it is a good thing that Royesville now has a high school as many children upon completing Junior High School in the Township leave to attend schools either in Tubmanburg, Bomi County or move to Monrovia for high school education.
He reflected on the social challenges when children are not reared in the homes of their biological parents.
Mr. Gboe put the cost of the facility and associated management and legal fees to about US$250,000 and said about 9% (or US$22,000) of the total cost was subsidized by the Liberia YMCA.
“I am pleased to say thanks for the support and attention you all gave during the construction of this school.” He concluded.
The Commissioner of Royesville, Hon Edwin Mathies thanked the YMCA for the construction of the school. “Statistics show that 57% of contracts given to Liberian firms are incomplete, but in the case of YMCA, you have completed 100%.” Commissioner Mathies told the gathering. He appealed to the Liberia YMCA to assist the people of Royesville in other areas.
He appealed to the Ministry of Education and District # 7 Representative, Hon. William Dikel to assist in equipping the school.
“The YMCA has done its part, now you must fulfill your duty on the tripartite agreement entered into by the YMCA, the Ministry of Education and the Township of Royesville. The YMCA has completed its part”
Making remarks at the ceremony, Montserrado County District # 17 Representative, Hon. William Dikel also praised the Late Madam Rebecca James for her thought of the people of Royesville – adding “even through darker days, there are people who mean well.”
He also thanked the people and elders of Royesville and the Parent Teachers Association of the School for their assistance in getting the school constructed and recommitted himself in continuing his advocacy for attention to projects, including support to the school, under allocations for Legislative projects under the national budget.
Following the dedicatory ceremony, the guests toured the school facilities which include six classrooms, library and laboratory rooms, teachers' quarter and reservoir with power pump to supply water to the facility.
The school is named in honor of the Late Madam Rebecca James, a citizen of Royesville, Montserrado County, Liberia, whom through her estate made possible the funds for the construction of the school. Construction on the High school began in late 2013.
The late Madam Rebecca James Memorial High School will provide increased access to education opportunities for young people completing junior high school education in Royesville as there has been no high school in the District of Royesville.