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UNICEF and Ministry of Education provide 10,000 school benches to Liberian schools

MONROVIA, 17 July 2006 – In partnership with the Ministry of Education, UNICEF is constructing 10,000 three-seat benches for distribution to 100 government schools in five counties.  A combined total of 30,000 students in Bong, Grand Gedeh, Lofa, Montserrado and Nimba Counties will benefit from this donation. 

The Ministry of Education thanked UNICEF for the donation, describing it as timely and greatly needed.

“There’s no such time than now that our schools are need of furniture.  Our partners, especially in the donor community, need to know that Liberia’s schools were massively looted during the war and most of them remain without basic furniture.  So these benches are very helpful in addressing the seating problems facing many schools, as we strive to rebuild our educational system,” said the Minister of Education, the Hon. Joseph Korto.  “This is part of the Government’s 150-day deliverables to our people and it’s an indication of how we are working to rebuild our country.”

UNICEF Liberia’s Officer-in-Charge Bjorn E. Forssen said the benches will go to government schools which are offering the Accelerated Learning Programme (ALP) in the five counties. ALP condenses six years of primary schooling into three years of intensive activities to enable children and youth make up for lost educational years.

“ALP schools serve an extremely useful function in the rehabilitation and reintegration of war-affected children, including returning refugees, demobilized children associated with fighting forces and all those whose education has been repeatedly disrupted over the last 15 years,” Forssen said.  “By this donation to our partners at the Ministry of Education, UNICEF is assuring the Government of its commitment to helping it revive Liberia’s educational sector.”
 
Forssen has pledged UNICEF’s continued collaboration with the Ministry of Education, stressing the crucial task before the ministry in Liberia’s post-conflict recovery and reconstruction drive.

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About UNICEF

For 60 years UNICEF has been the world’s leader for children, working on the ground in 155 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence.  The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS.  UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.

For media inquiries, please contact:

Patrick Slavin, Communications Officer, UNICEF Liberia, Tel. +231-6-834-019, pslavin@unicef.org

To receive a copy of this press release and other communications materials from UNICEF Liberia via e-mail, please contact Samuel W. Johnson, Programme Assistant, UNICEF Liberia, Tel. +231-6-528-283, sjohnson@unicef.org

 


 

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