(Monrovia,Liberia) - Before midday Thursday, May 23, 2019, President George Manneh Weah was forced to heed celebratory stampedes on the grounds of his Ministry of Foreign Affairs office when throngs of strange guests streamed into the presidential compound.
Pro-government and pro-president slogans filled the air of Capital Hill as hundreds of senior students made their way to the President's office.
The nearly two thousand students, who had just completed writing the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE), played one of the ten lepers�they paid the President unexpected visit to thank him for his Government's defrayment of their exam fees.
When the President came down to meet his highly spirited guests, he was surprised the students, some reportedly from Grand Bassa and Margibi counties, had a splendidly designed Certificate of Appreciation to present to him.
There were near-endless deafening battle cries, slogans and flowery speeches adoring the President before the host took the stage to talk to the students.
Visibly beaming with broad smiles, President Weah took the Certificate from the hands of the leaderships of the Montserrado Students Union and the Liberia National Students Union who in their various appreciation statements thanked the Liberian Leader and his Government for paying their exam fees.
Many years back, I was in a similar situation as yours. I was roaming the streets and offices in search of assistance to continue my school, the Liberian Leader who grew up in a slum community told the students.
When I was Senator of Montserrado County, I often encountered countless students complaining they were running into trouble with their education because they or their parents did not have money to pay for the regional exams. I knew it was a national problem. I did my best to relieve many students. That's why when I became president, I decided my government would take care of this very important problem holistically once and for.
As the President acknowledged the students' honor of him, he extended thanks also to their parents, whose taxes make his development agenda, including the regular payment of students' WASSCE fees, possible.
Tell your parents we appreciate them for paying their taxes, and encourage them to keep doing so because with this tax-paying culture, our development interventions will be sustainable, President Weah said.
President Weah averred that his government is committed and is under obligation to provide quality education to Liberian students, adding, While there are challenges, we will leave no stone unturned into creating opportunities and initiating programs toward improving the education sector.
The Liberian Leader said he was glad that despite challenges, Liberian students were making both the government and their parents proud in their education sojourn. He encouraged them to continue to work hard in order to be properly prepared for future leadership.
He told the students to remain peaceful, law-abiding and circumspect of influences that will divert their attention from doing positive things. He said in the absent of peace and stability, national development, including providing quality education, is not possible.
Responding to spokespersons of the students on the need for improved facilities in Liberian schools, President Weah promised that he would convene a cabinet session so that he and his officials discuss the proposal of the students.
This, he said, would include looking into suggestion about suspending the West Africa Senior School Examination Certificate (WASSCE) for at least five years so as to have the Liberian government equip various high schools for the program.
Montserrado Students Union (MONSU) President Yassah P. Roberts who spoke at the honoring program praised the Liberian Leader for Government's commitment to promote quality education for Liberian children.
He said it was historic and redemptive that President Weah introduced the payment of WASSEC fees and free tutorial classes for all 12th graders throughout the country.
Roberts and other students said their honor of President Weah was in deep appreciation of the President's history-making development paradigm and his energy and passion to transform Liberia.
Source: The Executive Mansion