Recently, the edifice of the Salvation Army Church-owned William Booth
Junior and Senior High School, located at Pipeline Road in Paynesville
was completely burned to ashes at night hours.
Circumstances leading to the fire outbreak, up to present, remain a mystery as the Liberia National Police (LNP), United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), and other concerned authorities are said to be investigating the incident.
When this paper visited the school campus over the weekend, it observed that the entire building hosting both the junior and senior high sessions was terribly destroyed.
It was also gathered that only the elementary session of the school was, by “God’s divine mercy,” spared by the fire outbreak which, by all accounts, has sent chills down the spines of not only the students and school administrators but also citizens and residents of the Pipeline Community and its environs.
Since this ugly development, the fate of students of the William Booth Junior and Senior High School remains in limbo.
Some of these students including 9th and 12th graders were, prior to the recent damage done to their school edifice, among other Liberian students, preparing for this year’s junior and senior high examinations administered annually by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC).
As others nationwide, are continuing their studies, though with some apparent difficulties owing primarily to intervening variables, students of the William Booth High School are now forced by the fire incident to remain at home doing little or nothing with respect to their educational journey.
This is to say the least, unfortunate and regrettable.
For more than a thousand Liberian students including boys and girls who are considered ‘future leaders’ of the country to sit at home indefinitely without access to education as a result of a situation (fire outbreak) that they apparently have no knowledge about is mindboggling.
In our candid view, it serves as a disincentive to building the educational capacity of young Liberians.
We say this simply because education is a right and not a privilege, as such, its provision by the Liberian ruling establishment should not be an option but a national necessity.
This is why we are calling on the Government of Liberia (GoL) to not only investigate the fire incident at the school edificewith urgency but to also work with the leadership of the Salvation Army Church and the school administration in every possible way for the students to return to classes.
We also believe that it would be more appropriate for the government, through the Ministry of Education, with support of its international partners including UNMIL, to embark on a quick-impact project that would lead to the return of William Booth Junior and Senior High School students to classes without further delay.