Paynesville City – The Director of the Monrovia Vocational Training Center (MVTC), Wilfred Payne is calling on Liberians to prioritize vocational education (Tvet) for economic growth.
Report by Gerald C. Koinyeneh – [email protected]
Serving as guest speaker at the third joint graduation programs of the Thomas P. Fallah Institute of Academic and Vocational Education (T-Five Academy) in Paynesville City, on Saturday, Wilfred Payne said the easiest way for a nation to become a middle income country is for its citizens to acquire basic skill training.
“When citizens acquire vocational skills, the dependency syndrome on government to find jobs for its citizens will be reduced. Secondly, the essence of vocational education is to help breach the capacity gap in our dear country and reduce insecurity.
“It also brings about the development of marketable skills which lead to employment,” Payne noted.
Giving a brief history of vocational education in Liberia, the MVTC boss explained that vocational training began during the late 1940s – the early years of mineral resources exploration in Liberia. But he said vocational education was considered as an alternative for students who failed in academic institutions.
He said during those days, most of the life skilled jobs at concession areas and other major companies were occupied by foreigners.
Giving the current situation analysis of vocational education in Liberia, he said the sector is being managed by the Ministries of Youth and Sports and Education, as well as faith based institutions and private individuals.
He stressed that management of these Tvet programs are not the proper way.
He asserted that the sector should be managed by a single regulatory body that will be responsible to set standard, prepare curriculum and put in place a monitoring and evaluation system to check on the vocational schools.
He, however, disclosed that plans are underway to set up a regulatory body to supervise the sector.
He then named the lack of standardize curriculum, capacity building for trainers and training materials and low compensation for staff as some of the challenges facing the sector.
Addressing the 64 graduates, the guest speaker challenged females to be good ambassadors of the institution and called on them to prioritize vocational education.
“Years back, many females saw vocational education to be solely for the men. Considering the new word on earth called gender equity,” Payne noted.
“There is no way a male can become a heavy duty mechanic and female can’t be.”
“So, I am also encouraging you to get involve in vocational education, especially those traditional male dominated courses: heavy duty mechanic, auto mechanic, electricity, electronics etc.”
Meanwhile, the dux of the Journalism Department, Augustine Tweh, noted that the goal of the media in peace building can only be achieved if journalists perform their duty diligently.
Mr. Tweh in a commentary called on the government and the Liberian media to collaborate in order to create a vibrant media landscape as Liberia gears toward the October, 2017’s Legislative and Presidential elections.
“The role of the media can only be achieved in peace building if journalists of today are practicing the ethics. “
“The government, for her part must realize that to understand the meaning of democracy and practice true democracy, the will of the media to inform the citizens must prevail over personal interest,” Tweh asserted.
The Thomas P. Fallah Institute of Vocational Education, T-Five for short, currently operates Computer science, nursing and journalism programs; as well as airline studies.
The school was established in 2008 by Thomas P. Fallah, Representative of Montserrado County’s District #5.
The chief Administrator of the institution, Samuel K. S. Bondo disclosed that there are plans to include other vocational programs including mechanical driving, tailoring, Home Economics, general construction and drifting.
Mr. expressed joy over the rapid growth of the institution and said there is also plan to upgrade the school to a college level. He mentioned that the act establishing the proposed college has been passed the House of Representatives and was now before the Senate for concurrence.