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GeneralLiberia news

“Do not participate in corruption”

--Senate Pro-Temp urges graduates

By Lewis S. Teh 

Monrovia, April 22, 2024: Liberian Senate President Pro-Tempore Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence has cautioned graduates of the Business and Domestic Occupational Training Center (BDOTC) not to participate in corruption that has taken away their opportunities.

BDOTC graduated 18 students over the weekend. Senator Karnga-Lawrence, who served as keynote speaker during the ceremony at the SKD Sports Complex in Paynesville, admonished the graduates not to cheat others.

“Hold yourself accountable to do what’s right in your profession. Do not cheat others. Do not take shortcuts at the expense of others. Do not mishandle the finances of others to your benefit,” Senator Karnga-Lawrence challenged the graduates.

The Grand Bassa County Senator further challenged the graduates to practice daily to do what’s right and continue to do so until they are very good at being model citizens.

She emphasized the need to prioritize technical and vocational education and training (TVET) because vocational training emphasizes learning by doing and develops a skill in a person. This skill set builds up one’s confidence and lifts self-esteem.

“A few months ago, we used TVET as a campaign message, the president has also mentioned TVET as one of his deliverables, and we are doing our best as the Pro-Temp of the Liberian Senate to give more to TVET in the national budget,” Senator Karnga-Lawrence stated.

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She stressed that TVET makes one employable, reducing unemployment when finding a job or earning a living.

She maintained that TVET enables a person to be an entrepreneur, expressing confidence that the graduates would use their new skills to be innovative and productive citizens of the country.

She noted, “The right skills not only provide you with a source of income, but they also benefit employers and the public at large.” 

“You are now employable, and with time, you will be earning a paycheck to improve your life and the lives of the people you care for.”

“Liberia benefits because your employment means we will have one less unemployed Liberia.”

Delivering the valedictorian speech, Victoria James proposed the availability of an 18-seated bus for operational purposes at BDOTC.

She proposed providing practical materials for all courses taught at the institution, employing trainer assistants for each course, and sending exhibition materials for tailoring after the internship as measures to respond to the institution’s prevailing challenges.

Ms. James further cautioned her colleagues to take the lessons learned and the growth they have experienced and face the unknown confidently, knowing they have what it takes to handle whatever comes their way. 

“Let us embrace the opportunities that lie ahead, have confidence in our abilities, and be determined to make our marks on the world,” she continued.

Meanwhile, Cllr. J. Cole Bangalu, the Minister of Youth and Sports, lauded the Government of Liberia and its partners, particularly the European Union, for the numerous efforts in rehabilitating the facility.

“Part of the president’s hundred days deliverables was that the ministry will resubmit the draft TVET bill that was submitted some time ago after technical working groups meetings between the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Ministry of Education,” Bangalu noted.

Bangalu further thanked the staff at BDOTC for their commitment and dedication to impacting the young people of Liberia.

He highlighted the need to address the gender disparity between women and girls at the institution.

BDOTC was established in 1975 under the Ministry of Labor, Youth, and Sports under the leadership of the late President William R. Tolbert, Jr. 

The Ministry of Youth and Sports was later extracted from Labor and enacted into law as a ministry. BDOTC is one of the Ministry of Youth and Sports training arms under the Department of TVET. 

The center offers specialized skills training to disadvantaged youth, especially young girls and women, to obtain employable and self-sustainable skills in hospitality management.

Currently, the center provides intervention in reducing the unemployment gap, especially among young girls and women from all levels of society.

Its primary objective is to introduce trainees as interns at various business entities to experience hands-on-the-job training, develop the minds of youth, especially girls and women, to be optimistic about life challenges, and promote the dignity of labor through vocational training.

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