Government Urged to Invest More in Science Research
Monrovia – The keynote speaker of the Thomas J. R. Faulkner College of Science and Technology at the 97th commencement of the University of Liberia, Prof. Dr. Mosoka Fallah of the National Public Health Institute at the Ministry of Health, has made an impassion plead for government to invest substantially in science research to move Liberia forward.
“The human race has progressed to an extent that we have the ability to harness the power of nature to create good health, to build shinning cities, to provide security and increase our longevity,” said Dr. Fallah whose topic was “the future of Liberia lies in your hands as future scientists and engineers.”
“We have harnessed the law of science and technology to fly faster than the birds, and to land a man on the moon,” he said.
“The power of science has reduced infant mortality and eliminated common childhood killer diseases such as diarrhea, acute respiratory infection and malaria.”
The Science College commencement speaker commended the President of the University of Liberia Prof. Dr. Emmet A. Dennis, for transforming the institution during his seven-year rule, recounting the poor conditions which existed at the institution, especially in the Science College.
In retrospect, Dr. Fallah recalled the experience of the labs in the early 199os. “In the labs instead of benzene burners we had to get by with coal-pots,” he recalled, and stated that there were ten students assigned to one thermometer just to learn.
Dr. Fallah lamented that when he was a student; the college had only one instructor with a master’s degree, and said the rest were teaching assistants who had just a first degree.
However, he noted that a lot has changed over the years since his in 2013, and lauded the UL President for the transformation.
“There had been a rapid increase in the number of master degree holders in the Science College as well as in the entire university, he said.”Dr. Dennis shifted the graduation rate from once every two or more years to two times per year.”
He said the UL President did that because he understood that the process of rebuilding our nation required hundreds, even thousands, of skilled and dedicated graduates.
Outside of the University of Liberia, Dr. Fallah praised the outgoing president for his numerous contributions in Liberia and the United States, naming the establishment of the Liberia Institute of Biomedical Research (LIBR), as one of the contributions Dr. Dennis made to the advancement of science research in the country.
To the graduates, Dr. Fallah commended them and admonished them to keep on moving. He rhetorically asked the graduates what they were going to do with the knowledge they have acquired.
“Liberia is depending on you to change her current conditions; thousands of lives will depend on how you use your hard-earned knowledge,” he said.
The Director of the National Public Health Institute then shifted his attention to an area that he is particularly involved with—research, and called on the University Administration to rapidly shift its paradigm to a more research-focused environment to address Liberia’s social, economic and environmental challenges.
“Without significant investment in research, we will always be a university that passes down outdated knowledge to our students without questioning the current thinking in various fields of studies,” said Dr. Fallah, who is also one of the principal investigators researching the Ebola Virus.
Also, speaking at the graduation was the valedictorian of the graduating class, student Charles Baysah, a Magna Claude from the Department of Chemistry.
Similarly, student Baysah called on the National Government to invest more in science education and research, and challenged his colleagues to continue to seek knowledge for the betterment of our country.
Student Baysah recounted how his early childhood education was interrupted by the civil conflict and him and his parents into exile in neighboring Guinea.
Also making remarks at the graduation was Dr. Peter S. Humphrey, Dean of the Science College, who was officiating at his first commencement having been recently appointed.
Dr. Humphrey thanked Dr. Dennis for his leadership at and for reposing in him the confidence to serve as Dean. He also recognized Dr. Ophelia Inez Weeks, his predecessor, thanking her for the hard work and tenacity with which she led the college.