Monrovia – A non-profit organization, Educate The NextGen (ETN), has launched Liberia’s first-ever National Academic Excellence Award which is aimed at honoring exceptional students in Liberia.
Report by Jaheim T. Tumu, firstname.lastname@example.org
According to the organizers, the importance of the program is to improve the education of students and enhance a merit-based system in schools across Liberia.
The program first started in 2015 as the ‘Liberia Valedictorian Award’, honoring and celebrating over 200 brilliant Liberians who made tremendous academic progress and led different social changes around the world.
This year’s edition has transitioned from the Valedictorian Award program to the Liberia National Academic Excellence Award and will be styled and called the ‘VallaiM. Dorley Edition 2022.’
Vallai M. Dorley was a scholar and academician, who served as a student leader and mentor to the student community in Liberia.
Dorley, known as Chairman Mao, was an award-winning quizzer and a passionate university lecturer who promoted academic excellence.
Speaking at the launch, T. Benjamin Myers who was named the Liberia National Academic Excellence Award Icon 2022, said the program will serve as Liberia’s premiere academic recognition and mentorship platform.
According to Myers, the ‘Vallai M. Dorley Edition 2022’ would take place across seven counties, namely, Montserrado, Margibi, Grand Bassa, Bong, Nimba, Grand Cape Mount and Bomi Counties.
Myers revealed that the implementation of is valued at US$14,686.00 with September 1st – 4th, is set aside to bring together, honor, celebrate and mentor 123 bright students across these seven counties.
Myers said that the amount is intended for transportation of the students from their various counties to Monrovia and back, purchasing their awards and certificates, printing their T-shirts, and feeding them.
Breaking the money per county, he said, Montserrado Us$5,280, Nimba Us$1,400, Margibi Us$1,000, Bong Us$1,040, Grand Bassa Us$960.00, Grand Cape Mount US$550, Bomi County US$550 and operational cost Us$3,906.
Said Myers, “I am personally passionate about being part of this worthy undertaking because it will provide a platform that shines light on Academic Excellence, enhance a merit-based system in schools, and honors an exceptional veteran academic excellence Icon in the late Vallai M. Dorley.”
“Hence, this project seeks to lead an advocacy that is geared towards bridging that gap; therefore, I am happy to be a part.”
Adding, “Academic competition and a merit-based system in schools today have declined when compared to pre-war status. The most vivid reason for this is the lack of a culture of Identifying, Honouring, Celebrating and Mentoring in Liberia’s brightest minds.”
Myers who called on government, political actors, philanthropists, Liberians including local and international organizations to support this initiative, said the organization is going to work with the Ministry of Education as partners to formulate the plan.