Nearly 40 Liberian scholarship students at the Félix Houphouët-Boigny National Polytechnic Institute in Yamoussokro, Ivory Coast, are commending President George M. Weah for the opportunity to pursue higher education in that West African nation.
The students are also grateful to First Lady Clar Marie Weah for coordinating the scholarship scheme through her Office along with the Ministries of Education and Finance & Development Planning.
Speaking during a meeting with the delegation comprising the First Lady’s Office and the Ministry of Education at the institution’s campus in Yamoussokro recently, the students described the scholarship program as a blessing that has transformed their lives and put them on the path of their destiny.
Recruited through a rigorous process in 2019 and 2020, the students are specializing in various science and technology disciplines as part of a youth capacity development program initiated by President George Manneh Weah.
Funded by the French government through its Development Agency, AFD, the initiative resulted from President Weah’s meeting with his French counterpart, President Emmanuel Macron, during a state visit to Paris, France, in February 2018. Commenting on the challenges, the students disclosed that learning the French language, adapting to the new environment, and coping with the demanding Ivorian educational system among others posed serious difficulties to their studies upon arrival.
However, the Liberian students noted that they were well adjusted to the various situations and now working hard to complete their studies. In her introductory remarks, the head of delegation Madam Gaelle Mediem, admonished the students to remain focused, avoiding every form of distraction so as to make maximum use of the opportunity afforded them and make their respective families and country, Liberia proud.
Madam Mediem who is also the First Lady’s Chief of Office Staff emphasized the need for the students to maintain high moral and academic standards if they must succeed and be an example to their generation of young Liberians
The five-member delegation, including the Director for Scholarships at the Minister of Education, Mr. Theophilus Snorton, had gone to follow up on the overall progress and well-being of students. Following a series of meetings with authorities of the polytechnic and the students, the delegation was impressed with the general condition of the Liberian scholarship students but urged them to do more.