By Winston W. Parley
In observance of Liberia’s 174th National Flag Day, President George Manneh Weah has called on Liberians to ensure that they prepare a better nation for future generations, particularly encouraging all students to take their education very seriously because “it is the key to a better future.”
“This is why my administration will continue to take steps in the direction of creating a better environment for young Liberians to prepare themselves so that they will be ready to take full advantage of the opportunities that are certain to present themselves, both now, and in the future,” he said Tuesday, 24 August 2021.
He said with certain major policy changes his government has initiated, it is beginning to turn around the negative narrative about the Liberian education system.
President Weah explained that as a leader who believes in the importance of education, he could not sit by and watch Liberian students continue to fail their West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) while falling behind their counterparts in the region.
He noted that his government continues to pay the WASSCE fees for 12th graders and provide financial support for their tutorial classes, while the free tuition policy at the state-run universities and all public colleges in the country is being fully implemented.
“We had to make other interventions to eliminate those barriers that made it hard for students to study. These measures are intended to ease the financial burden on parents and motivate our children to stay in the classroom,” Mr. Weah said.
He, therefore, urged all students to take advantage of the opportunities that are being afforded to them, assuring them that government will continue to listen to them to determine how it can improve their educational experience, such as improving school facilities, having more qualified teachers in the classrooms, and having better instructional materials.
“We are committed and determined to remove these hurdles. Together we can achieve these goals,” he emphasized.
He added that as Liberia’s democracy flourishes, all Liberians must continue to show respect for the rule of law and for the legal authorities, saying too often these days, people go beyond their right to free and peaceful assembly and engage in the destruction of private and public property.
“You may recall that from the onset of my Administration, I committed to ensuring that the democratic rights of everyone will be guaranteed, regardless of who they are. We remain committed to that pledge,” he said.
However, President Weah noted that it is very important to balance the need to have a peaceful and stable society where rights are guaranteed, against those who would use those rights to infringe upon the rights of others.
“We ought to be proud of who we are as Liberians. We must stand firm in claiming the future together, in order to see Liberia rise again. And we must be aggressive about saving Liberia from those who are aggressive about destroying it. I admonish you to love your flag, for it symbolizes our identity and way of life,” he said.
Mr. Weah stated that Liberia remains a common patrimony for its citizens and that whatever their differences, the need to guarantee a better future for their children must stand paramount.
“We cannot afford to reverse the gains that we have made after enjoying close to two decades of peace,” he warned.
He noted that the Liberian Flag, popularly known as “The Lone Star”, is the visible evidence of the country’s pride and dignity, adding that it is Liberia’s stamp to the world that signifies that all Liberians, both at home and in the diaspora, are one people with a common destiny, regardless of political persuasion, religion or social status.
As a nation, President Weah reflected, that Liberia has endured many difficult times in these past 174 years of its existence, more recently including a brutal civil conflict that took away the lives of over 250,000 citizens, and also tore down the fabric of the society.
“Today, we are facing another grave national crisis, as we struggle to battle the negative impact of the Covid-19 global pandemic, which has already drastically altered our way of life,” he said.
However, in spite of all these challenges, President Weah urged Liberians to continue to celebrate all that God has graciously given them as a people and to also continue to celebrate all that they have done to be where they are today, as One Nation, united under God.
“Most importantly, we must continue to celebrate the Peace that we now enjoy, which creates a conducive atmosphere for the development which we see taking shape across the country,” he added.https://thenewdawnliberia.com/weah-urges-nations-to-rise-above-divisions/
By Winston W. Parley