The Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Boima S. Kamara, says access to quality to education is a right that every Liberian child should have rather than engaging themselves in violent activities.
He cautions youth in the country not to allow themselves to be used by anyone or group of politicians to engage in violence that would lead the country to destruction, including lose of innocent lives and properties as the October polls get closure. Minister Kamara delivers the keynote address during the 8th graduation ceremony of the Action of Faith Institute in Dupot Road, Paynesville outside Monrovia over the weekend.
He assures the graduates of government’s commitment to conducting free, fair and transparent elections on October 10, saying “As we gear toward electing a new corps of officials that will steer the affairs of our country, we the government want to commit to this process, and it is from this result that we can now say our country, Liberia is moving on the right trajectory.”
He reminds the graduates that the country needs a more conscious process of sustained transformation in which, the peace dividends gained over the past fourteen (14) years are maintained. Speaking on the topic ‘‘Access to Education, A Right for All Liberians’’, the Finance Minister stresses that Pillar Three of the country’s five-year development plan, Agenda for Transformation (AfT) , focuses on human development with a “goal of improving the quality of life by investing in more accessible and higher quality education”.
He explains that more than two-thirds of Liberia’s population is under 25 years, and that government had few months ago initiated a three-year action plan aimed at making significant improvements in the quality of education in Liberian schools, adding that the plan seeks to ensure that at least 40 percent of all schools across the country meet or exceed established standards by 2020.
He further reminds the graduates that they have a role in demanding a smart and high-quality learning environment, stressing that it is imperative that everyone has opportunity to affordable and quality education, something, which he says students can use to contribute to the development of the country. “It is your right to have access to educational facilities to improve your capacity and develop those skills that are necessary to make your life pleasant”, said Minister Kamara He acquaints students of their rights to an enabling environment that would afford them the platform where they can experience a peaceful and prosperous life, but cautions that they too have a role in this process by taking advantage of the available opportunities to develop their own capacities in order to become productive citizens.
Minister Kamara commends the Valedictorian of the 2016/2017 Class of the Action Faith Institute, Miss Kokah P. Henry, for her outstanding academic performance.
He says her performance, which runs parallel with another female, Marklyn W. Wingbah of Calvary Mission in Monrovia, who tops this year’s Liberian Senior High School Certificate Examination, does not only demonstrate the commitment and actions of government to empower the girl child but also shows the determination and resilience of Liberian women and girls, particularly in academia and various areas of work.
The government here boasts of enrolling over 1.5 million children in school over the years, while thousands of youth are pursuing technical and vocational training, while community colleges have been constructed in several counties across the country.
However, our effort has not produced the desired results due to resource constraints and poor management. Moving away from what is reported to be the international trend, we now propose to make all Community Colleges campuses of the University of Liberia.
This will be more cost-effective and will allow common rules and policies, under a common high leadership. The Straz Technical College of the University of Liberia, in Sinje, which is performing well, attests to the need for this change”, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said in her last address to the Liberian Legislature in January this year.
By Lewis S. Teh-Editing by Jonathan Browne