- location:Monrovia, Liberia, West Africa
VP Boakai Urges Graduates to go Further - promises scholarships for 25 new Students
“Do not rest on your achievements thus far. This training is intended to help you get started on the road to a better life; it is by no means a complete solution.” This was the advice Vice President Joseph N. Boakai gave recently when he addressed the 2012 graduates of the Business and Domestic Occupational Training Center, run by the Ministry of Youth and Sports (MYS).
“This is a stepping stone for you; do not look at it as your final destination in life, “VP Boakai told the 329 graduates, all females, who completed one and two years courses in hotel management, catering, cosmetology, tailoring & interior design, and computer education.
“Move ahead, make connections with other business persons; expand your options; become an employer yourselves; become another bread-winner in your present or future families; set a fine example of industry, imagination and determination for your daughters, the next generation.
“Thank you for not giving up, for not giving in to despair or discouragement! Let your accomplishment thus far serve to give you courage to face the future with your heads held high, braced against whatever winds of adversity that may blow against any or all of you.”
Saying a major priority of the Liberian Government’s human resource development agenda is youth empowerment and job creation, VP Boakai assured the youth of Liberia that a significant portion of the $20m allocated in the next fiscal budget for youth development will be used to improve the functioning capacity of vocational training institutions and provide other educational opportunities across the country.
VP Boakai, who promised to sponsor 25 students at the center during its next training cycle, praised the late President William R. Tolbert, Jr. for being farsighted in establishing the center 37 years ago for disadvantaged young women.
He pointed out that the administration of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf was” equally sensitive to the needs of disadvantaged young Liberian women, challenging BDOTC and other training institutions to tailor their programs to meet the needs of current and future beneficiaries.
“President Tolbert initiated these programs 37 years ago. The world has changed enormously since then. Most of the current population of Liberia was not even born then,” Vice President Boakai said.
Rhetorically he asked: “Are these programs being kept abreast of present changes and circumstances in Liberia? Are we anticipating and framing training programs to meet the needs that will come with future developments?”
Speaking of resource constraints facing Liberia, VP Boakai called on public training institutions to seek more private partnership as a means of beefing up government’s support for youth development and empowerment in the country.
“Government does not have the resources to do much, as we are all aware,” he noted.
“We have been recipients of considerable generosity from foreign donors; we need to seek the input, both in terms of training objects and of financial resources, of the private sector and promote more public-private partnerships. We are all in this together.”
Speaking on behalf of Youth and Sports Minister Tornorlah Varpilah, Deputy Minister for Sports Dionysius Sebwe commended the graduates for their commitment to acquiring education, which he said was the best tool for economic empowerment.
Sebwe said as the youth development arm of government, the ministry would collaborate with the Ministry of Finance to enhance training programs at all MYS training centers, including BDOTC.
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