About Bong Education Center Alumni Association (BECAA)
Bong Education Center Alumni Association (BECAA), Inc. is a 501c3 non-profit organization, founded in 2002 (incorporated in 2004) by former students of Bong Education Center formerly located in Bong Mines, Liberia, West Africa. Click here for BECAA By-Laws
BECAA was founded to, among many core purposes, serve the needs of our Alma mater and network among our membership and strategic partners, while combining our financial resources to help support the current students of what is now Bong Mines Central High School (BMCHS) located in Bong Mines, Liberia. Since 2004, BECAA has provided financial contributions and school supplies (books, computers, notebooks, stationeries) in excess of $30,000, to help support the 800+ students of BMCHS presently located in Bong Mines, Liberia. BECAA is committed to making quarterly disbursements of $1,000 to help support BMCHS through its Adopt-a-Child/Adopt-a-Teacher Program. Click here to read more about the program.
Our lives began to change in 1990 at the start of the 14 year bloody civil war in Liberia that destroyed our families, our communities, our schools and our dreams. As the war ended, BECAA was established to help rebuild and give hope to those we left behind by providing support to our former schools, known today as BMCHS.
Facts about BMCHS and why BECAA is passionate about the cause
- Approx. 800 Students (K-12) and increasing
- Once private school, the school is now operated by the Government of Liberia
- Newly renovated school building by the Chinese government with no electricity and no running water
- Education is compulsory and free up to 9th grade level.
- Government imposed fees are accessed to students in 10-12th grades.
- The fees are expected to be used for the operations of the school.
- Registration and fees are approximately USD$21.00 annually.
- High School students generally drop out of school because of the parents’ inability to pay the registration and fees.
- Currently there are 12 full time teachers and staff and 7 Administrators
- Student-to-Teacher ratio is 66:1.
- 10-15 Volunteer teachers & support Staff (Subsided by BECAA through quarterly contributions of $1,000)
- With BECAA support of providing stipend for volunteer teachers and support staff, the student-to-teacher ratio is reduced to 29:1
- Boys to Girls ratio is nearly 50-50.
- Teacher salary is $82 to $140/month
- Administrators make up to $235/month
- Besides the payment of salaries for teachers and administrator, there is no additional funding provided by the government for operate the school.
- Major shortage of furniture, books and school supplies
Brief History of Bong Education Center
The history of education in what is known as Bong Mine is as old as the Company itself. As early as 1958 when the German-Liberian Mining Company (DELIMCO) began surface prospecting, Mrs. Mariam Miller, an American missionary who was stationed at the Kpolopelle Lutheran Mission in Haindii came in to conduct church services with workers in Camp I and Moritz Camp which was the staff quarter. Moritz Camp was located at what is now Zaweah Park. Soon, a Bible and literacy class was started.
The workers, being enthusiastic and excited about the literacy program and the expected benefit it held for them, appealed to Mrs. Miller for the establishment of a formal educational program. She, in turn, consulted Dr. Moritz – the German pioneer of the Company – who was in charge of operation. With the consent of Dr. Moritz given, Mrs. Miller also sought -the approval of Pastor Ezra Keller and Moede Langleland, officers of the Lutheran Church, for the beginning of a formal literacy program. Cognizant of the role of education in the life of an individual and the development of a society, the Pastor granted the request, and subsequently, a combined religious and academic program was established in 1958. The first literacy teacher was Mr. David Kokoli, an evangelist from Zankpiyama. Evangelist Kokoli could not continue with the program due to ill-health. He was temporarily replaced by his students, Sii Leopord and Bono Freeman, both of whom spoke and wrote the Kpelle language well.