Grand Bassa County Superintendent Levi Demmah says, government seeks to empower young men and women in technical schools with skills that are demand-driven because there is no excuse why government would not talk to concessionaires to employ graduates once they acquire skills.
Superintendent Demmah spoke in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County on Monday, 11 April while leading a team of journalists at various government project sites in the county in continuation of a tour of some school projects that began in Todee District, Montserrado County.
“So there is no excuse for us … that we cannot talk to the concessionaires to provide the kind of employment opportunity for them once they acquire the skills,” he said at the Liberia Opportunities Industrialization Center or LOIC Grand Bassa Satellite.
Some projects and key places visited include the Presbyterian Todee Mission School in Montserrado County where President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf funded the construction of a dormitory with funds received from her 2011 Nobel Peace Prize.
Others are the Grand Bassa Community College; Bassa County Service Center; newly dedicated Buchanan City Hall; a water tower; Buchanan’s coastal project and the Port of Buchanan, respectively.
Earlier in Montserrado, the Principal of the Presbyterian Mission School, Mr. Robert Nyumah, described his students as very productive in both academic and agricultural performances.
He said the school has 152 students, with a total female population of 66 on the campus, adding that President Sirleaf is very helpful to the institution.
He recalled how through President Sirleaf’s instrumentality, BHP Billiton renovated the school building and Sethi Brothers renovated the boy’s dorm in addition to personally using her Nobel Prize benefits to build the girl’s dorm.
But he says the challenges they face today include textbooks, science materials, instructional materials, internet cafe to shorten distances teachers cover to research materials, among others. He however appealed to humanitarians to help fence the facility, saying the institution will serve girls and trade students.
During tour of other projects in Grand Bassa County, Superintendent Demmah said conversations have been held back and forth for concessionaires to employ graduates of technical schools. So far he said there have been fruitful results because employers have begun taking away students upon their graduation from the LOIC, emphasizing that the program is government-sponsored in partnership with Chevron.
He says after the ongoing LOIC 15th cycle, they intend to maintain the program which covers theory and practical under a 16-month period per cycle for various areas including masonry, welding, auto-mechanics, carpentry, tailoring, and pastry, among others.
Concerning the water tower in Buchanan, Mr. Demmah says he understands that by July there will be a turning over of keys to the project where the City of Buchanan will then have pipe-borne water in larger portion of its 54 communities.
LOIC Grand Bassa County Satellite Program Manager Mr. Patrick O. Kai says there are over 200 students at the institution whose capacities are being built in various disciplines, including carpentry, auto-mechanics, electricity, welding, plumbing, tailoring and pastry, among others.
Both male and female students were seen during the tour demonstrating residential and industrial wiring at LOIC, while others rearranged smaller-sized machines, saw planks and sew clothes, among others. Grand Bassa County Community College President Dr. Levi Zanga, guided a tour of his institution and spoke of partnership with Starz College of Science and Technology in an effort to upgrade the college’s computer and science center.
He appreciated Superintendent Demmah, saying “He has been very much focused on us,” as well as the board members for their support.
By Winston W. Parley -Editing by Jonathan Browne