Youth and Sports Minister, Saah Charles N’Tow is frustrated over students abandoning classes at the Monrovia Vocational Training Center or M.V.T.C in Gardnersville, jeopardizing opportunities to acquire careers for themselves.
“The students have decided to turn their back on the school, while they were the ones knocking at my doors when the school had not yet opened. But all I want to say is to encourage them to be serious, because this is what they cry for”, he said.
M.V.T.C. has a modern campus constructed by the Government of China, which is one of the best, if not the best in the country, mainly dedicated to providing technical and vocational skills to Liberian youth, most of whom are unfit for the job market due to lack of functional skills.
The Minister expressed the frustration Tuesday, 9 August in Monrovia when he spoke via mobile on “Coffee Break”, a live morning magazine program hosted by UNMIL Radio. Minister N’Tow said if young people for no reason would abandoned opportunities provided by the government to acquire skills and become productive in society then it is unfortunate.
He noted the new students who were so anxious for the opening of the Center are the ones now abandoning classes, adding “only the old students you find in school, and these are things that send a negative image of the government, because you will [hear] others criticizing the government for not creating the enabling environment for its youthful population.”
The Monrovia Vocational Training Center recently reopened with an estimated 2,800 candidates attending an 11-day orientation as part of series of activities marking the formal resumption of skills training after a two-year closure. The orientation ran from June 13th to June 24th.
At the reopening ceremony, M.V.T.C Director Wilfred Massaquoi, told reporters this year’s cycle has been designed to manage the large number of pupils, who have enrolled, categorizing them into two groups.
“The first category includes 892 students, who completed the initial three months of common core before the eruption of Ebola. The old students will continue on the trade track after a one month refresher,” Director Wilfred said.
The second category, he said, will include about 1, 900 new students, who will begin the common core as a requirement to progress to the next level. The common core is a series of interrelated basic introductory courses designed to provide general program overview and to prepare students for trade.
By Lewis S. Teh-Editing by Jonathan Browne