Paynesville – The Government of Liberia, with support from the European Union and the Swedish Embassy has presented laptops and other digital learning equipment to 78 TVET instructors at public vocational institutions across Liberia.
The support is geared at strengthening teachers’ capacities from a manual system of preparing for classroom activities to a modern system.
The teachers had used sheets and pens for preparing their curriculum, which sometimes poses challenges for them, but with a computer system, they will be able to make corrections and setup their curriculum correctly.
Assistant Youth and Sports Minster for TVET, Malias Z. Sheriff told FrontPageAfrica Wednesday that the training is a five-year project targeting TVET teachers in some counties across Liberia.
The five counties include, Montserrado, Margibi, Sinoe, Maryland, Bong, Grand Cape Mount and Grand Gedeh Counties, among others.
He said the project is valued at 20 million Euros and intended to improve infrastructure development, strengthen teachers capacities and empower them.
“These teachers will leave Liberia and when they come back, they will have an opportunity to work for government for about four years,” Minister Sheriff said.
“They have already been placed on government payroll and will be given stipend in the respective countries.”
He said the teachers were to leave since last June, but due to COVID-19 crisis, their trip was delayed.
Minister Sheriff, however, attributed the program to the endeavor of President George Manneh Weah, during his visit to European, when he just took over.
For his part, the Acting Ambassador of the European Union, Theodorus Kaspers said that youth are exposed to high level of unemployment and underemployment, while most are working in unskilled or low skilled jobs sectors, only to survive.
According to Mr. Kaspers, because over half of Liberia’s population is youthful, he sees it important to strengthen their capacities in development activities.
“I am gratified to TVET teachers who made it through the vetting process and will have the opportunity to travel to Kenya or Zambia for studies,” Kaspers averred.
According to him, though government recognizes that increased access to relevant, high quality technical and vocational education and training is key to changing youth challenges, significant investment is needed to make this becomes reality.
He further explained that when the EU first visited most TVET public schools, it was enough to highlight the challenges, not only in terms of facilities, but also pointing to modern equipment and vocational curriculum and capacities building of TVET teachers.
Kaspers added, that those trained by LAMCO and Bong Mining Company are already old and most have retired.
In an effort to address some of these challenges, he said that the EU signed a total of 20 Million Euro financial agreement with the government of Liberia in 2018 to support technical and vocational training education in five counties.
Additionally, in 2020 Kaspers said EU signed another financial agreement of 12 million Euros of which 6 million will be added to the Youth Rising Project, implemented by UNIDO and support to private sector TVET implemented by GIZ.
“We hope that you can serve upon return as instructors in TVET schools and as master trainers for vocational instructor training that will be established with support from programmed at BWI and other campuses,” Kaspers said.
Meanwhile, while Kasper noted that EU will cover all related expenses for the training. He believes it will be essential for those who are successful on the training to make personal commitments to remain in the school system for certain period after their return.