The Joseph Jenkins Roberts United Methodist School has been challenged to be the leading “Game Changer” in the educational sector of Liberia. Addressing the 20th graduating class of the institution on January 22, 2021, Victor B. Smith, Council Chairman of the S. Trowen Nagbe United Methodist Church, named good curriculum, deployment of qualified teachers and staff, and good administrative policies as the tools needed to make the school a perfect game changer.
He said the school must develop curriculum that will make the sciences its major focus, adding, “Health sciences, engineering or infrastructural sciences, and law, which contribute to the social development of any nation, must claim your attention.” He noted that among the graduating students are would-be doctors, lawyers, and engineers who have gotten their first experience into these basic fields from the curriculum of the J. J. Roberts United Methodist School. Smith said the school will have a major role to play in molding the minds of young people in a positive way if they are to be the future leaders of Liberia.
“As the biggest actor on this game-changing stage, you must ensure that all of your teachers and staff are well qualified for their respective positions,” Smith warned. He said teachers should be able to deliver and articulate the contents of the curriculum without compromising it. “Teachers must hold the requisite teaching degree from recognized and accredited teaching institutes,” he stressed. Smith pointed out that the best way to stop teachers and students from trading grades for money is when the lesson is perfectly delivered and the students understand it.
He called on the graduating class to be the game changers that the J. J. Roberts United Methodist School can count on to expand its game-changing plans in the Liberian society. “Select careers that are scientifically focused,” Smith urged. He said that, as science students, they could easily transition into any professional field of work.
Speaking earlier, the principal of the school, Samuel Sagbeh, said the 20th graduation ceremony was an indicator of the school’s efforts in combating the COVID-19 pandemic, adding, “We were persistent in teaching our students, and all of them successfully passed the state examination known as West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).” He pointed out that amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the school was able to maintain all of the health protocol while at the same time conducting in-person academic activities.
“Though our students made us proud academically, we are having some developmental challenges since our partnership with Operation Classroom narrowed down to financial aid for six students in the entire school,” Sagbeh noted. He said the school is looking up to the academic community of the global United Methodist Church to see how best they can help to upgrade the school.
Founded in 1962 and headed by William Brown, an American missionary at the time, the Joseph Jenkins Roberts United Methodist School started as an elementary school and later became a junior high school serving as the feeder school for the College of West Africa (CWA), another United Methodist School. It later became a high school in 1999, and Sagbeh rose from the rank of registrar to principal in 2008.
The 20th Graduation Ceremony was held at the Stephen Trowen Nagbe United Methodist Church in Sinkor, Monrovia, on January 22, 2021.
Photos by E. Julu Swen.