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Liberia: Ellen Targets Vulnerable Girls' Education

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President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf says the fact that underprivileged girls are kept in good learning environment away from video clubs and other places they usually go; they would acquire good education for the betterment of their future.

During two separate dedicatory ceremonies of the Bromley Institution and the Ricks Institute both in the Virginia area on Saturday, President Sirleaf said “We have to promote our girls education program.”

The Bromley Institute where President Sirleaf made the first stop in Virginia last week offers academic, extra-curriculum, agricultural and medical education for underprivileged street girls to give them moral values and desired education.

Beside the renovated structures, President Sirleaf said she would like to see an expansion of the facilities, saying the environment can make the difference. “We would like to see up to 300 students,” the Liberian leader said.

Montserrado County Superintendent Florence Freeman, Proxy , Virginia Township Commissioner Musu D. Marshall told President Sirleaf that the Bromley Institute has street girls being schooled there. Madam Marshall at the dedication of the renovated institution pleaded with President Sirleaf to work on the road leading to the school.

She said students have to hold their shoes to go to Iron Gate as a result of the bad road condition. Bromely Institute Administrator Esther Page thanked President Sirleaf, recalling that from the school’s establishment in 1905, it has worked in training, disciplining girls while offering academic and extra curriculum activities for them.

Currently, Madam Page said the school has 110 students, 23 faculty and 24 staffs. She praised the renovation initiative undertaken by the Gender Ministry, assuring that students will no longer sit in the water during raining seasons. She however said the institution looks forward to the Ministry of Education (MOE) to equip the school.

She said in 2009/2010 academic year, Bromley made the highest score in the WAEC Exams in Liberia. Gender Minister Julia Duncan Cassel said Bromley was chose by government for vulnerable girls’ education programs to give the desired education and moral values. Already, she girls have been chosen from lower Montserrado, Bomi, Cape Mount, among others to sit entrance and placement exams at Bromley.

UN Women Representative Kathy Mangones assured that her institution was committed to supporting girls’ education, because she said it was so important for the future.

In a subsequent dedicatory program at Ricks Institute, Education Minister Etmonia Tarpeh cautioned the school administrators to be aware that they would be held accountable for whatever unfolding there.

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