Calm Returns to Monrovia Vocational Training Center Following Students Protest

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Monrovia – Calm has returned on the campus of the Monrovia Vocational Training Center (MVTC), following weeks of instability.


Report Willie N. Tokpah – [email protected]


“It is unfortunate that the MVTC, which seems to be government biggest vocational institution, should be going the way it is right now.

The reason we had that protest was the lack of sufficient instructors, lack of equipment and instructors are not paid” – Bob Emmanuel Paye, Spokesperson, Aggrieved MVTC Students

The disclosure was made Thursday by the MVTC Director, Wilfred Payne, following a protest by students who claimed their plight were being ignored by the government and the MVTC administration, saying they lacked practical equipment and the repeated failure of teachers to show up in the classroom.

Payne noted that students have now returned to normal learning activities in the wake of the arrival of practical equipment at the MVTC.

The aggrieved students through their spokesperson Bob Emmanuel Paye said since the protest, instructors were hardly going to classes on the ground of low incentives.

“It is unfortunate that the MVTC, which seems to be government biggest vocational institution, should be going the way it is right now.

The reason we had that protest was the lack of sufficient instructors, lack of equipment and instructors are not paid,” Paye said.

But the MVTC director Wilfred Payne registered that the action by his students does not augur well for MVTC and undermines all effort to make learning affordable for them.

He said the demonstration was carried out mainly by students of the mechanical department who had been complaining of not having the requisite materials in their trade-shop to do their practical.

“To the best of my knowledge, this is the first of its kind that students have protested on the campuses of MVTC. The situation was very unfortunate because our training designed is not meant for that,” he said.

According to him, the institution is currently in its eighth month of the 18 months of the training cycle.

He asserted that all departments at the school were already equipped with practical equipment except the mechanical department which was leading the protest.

“They did say that their concern was the lack of training materials but what they were demonstrating for was already being processed and on its way to MVTC. We are talking about heavy duty equipment which is about 8-12 cylinder engine.”

He revealed light-machine has been provided for students of the auto-mechanic department while another light-machine is underway for students studying heavy-duty mechanic.

He attributed the delay in getting the practical equipment to the Public Procurement and Concession Commission regulation which placed a halt on the purchasing of materials for institutions receiving government funding.

According to the regulation, any material above US$10,000 and above should follow the PPCC regulations.

Payne registered that the procedure of this regulation had created a delay to practical materials coming to the MVTC.

He further admitted to the student’s concern about the unwillingness of teachers to attend classes but attributed it to low incentives.

He argued that the fees paid by students enrolling at MVTC cannot match the cost of skills training in Liberia and budgetary allocation made to the institution cannot also address all the conditions it faces.

“The school is underfunded. The amount allotted to run this school is very little and again, this affect teachers’ salary,” Payne noted.

He estimated the allocation made to the MVTC at US$200,000 but emphasized that an increase in the institution budget to US$1M will match contemporary skills training for students.

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