The Monrovia Vocation Training Center or MVTC in Paynesville has graduated 750 students- 654 males and 96 females in multiple disciplines.
Some of the graduates are skilled in electricity; auto mechanics; welding and fabrication; plumbing; drafting; masonry; carpentry; air conditioner and refrigerator repairs, computer hardware and software, among others.
President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, government officials and foreign partners, including officials of the United States Embassy near Monrovia graced the graduation exercise Friday, 26 June which took place at the Paynesville City Hall, outskirt of Monrovia.
As a way of motivation, the Liberian leader gave the class dux Mr. Zugba Kollie, US$200 while appreciating him for scoring the highest grade point average over his colleagues, and announced that the Paynesville City Mayor, Madam Cvyette Gibson, has offered to employ him with the Paynesville City Corporation.
President Sirleaf also gave US$100 each to 20 graduates, who scored higher grades next in line to the dux, Mr. Kollie; and promised to give US$20 to each member of the graduating class to be delivered by the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Lenn Eugene Nagbe.
She also announced that Mayor Gibson had offered to additionally employ a female graduate, the only female, who studied air conditioning among the 20 high-scoring students.
When summed-up, President Sirleaf may have been motivating the graduates with roughly US$16,000 plus, as they jubilated in their colorful helmets and jumpsuits in the hall.
Like the graduates, President Sirleaf said she too was a technocrat before she became a politician, saying: “and so I can greet you as fellow technocrats,” as they yielded in jubilation to the President’s comment.
However, the President expressed disappointment that the “number [was] too small,” as she challenged Gender Minister Julia Duncan Cassell to offer scholarships to young women and set a target to carry the percentage of women up in each discipline.
“…We got many of our young women who are looking for opportunities to learn, to go to school, to get a skill, to get off the street and get into a situation where they can have a livelihood, they can be able to take care of their children and their family. And so her responsibility is to work with the school authority to do that,” President Sirleaf mandated Minister Cassell. By Winston W. Parley – Editing by Jonathan Browne