- Published on Tuesday, 06 November 2012 00:53
- Written by Sam Zota, Jr.
The Ministry of Education (MOE) has finally begun complying with a Freedom of Information (FOI) request submitted to the Ministry nearly two months ago.
Even though beyond the 30 days statutory period, the Ministry, on Monday, November 5, began providing documents on the textbooks distribution processes.
A reporter of The NEWS Newspaper on September 18 this year formally submitted two separate Freedoms of Information requests to the Ministry of Education and the Liberia Electricity Corporation.
The FOI requests separately sought to obtain data on institutions and other beneficiaries of the former United States President George W. Bush’s one million textbooks and school furniture donated. The request to the LEC has been denied.
Although the MOE is yet to provide the actual names and locations of direct beneficiaries of the former US President’s donation, the Ministry has initially provided documentations on the textbooks distribution procedures; guidelines for the distribution of the textbooks within the 15 counties of Liberia; development of an instructional materials management handbook (IMMHB); security roster for nationwide verification and marking of the donated textbooks, among others.
However, the Ministry’s FOI Focal Person has assured that the remaining documentations on beneficiaries of the former US President donation would be provided soon.
Mr. Magnus Mabande said he will ensure that information on the textbooks donation be provided, but did not state the exact date that the remaining documentations on the donation would be available.
Meanwhile, Mabande has clarified that school furniture were never part of the former US President’s donation to Liberia.
The donation of the over one million textbooks and school furniture was announced by the former US President following a visit to Liberia in February 2008.
Later that same year, US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Jendayi E. Frazer symbolically handed over 10,500 pieces of school furniture and 1.2 million books to the government and people of Liberia at the Montserrado County Learning Resource Center in Monrovia.
On September 16, 2009, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf launched the distribution of the textbooks and school furniture in support of Liberia's free primary and compulsory education program for onward distribution to public schools throughout the country.
However, nearly four years after the launch of the distribution process by the Liberian leader, the whereabouts of the books and furniture are still unclear.