A fraternal group, Alfalit-Liberia, has certificated 310 adult learners in basic reading, math, and writing skills. They received the certificates at the Christian Adult Literacy & Empowerment Program graduation ceremony held on April 14, 2021, at the Paynesville City Hall.
Under the theme, ‘From Darkness to Light’, students were tutored from Kindegarten to 3rd grade level in Reading, Writing and Math for nine months.
The ceremony was graced by the Minister of Agriculture, Jeanine Milly Cooper, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs, B. Elias Shoniyin, Former Paynesville City Mayor, Cyvette M. Gibson, deputy chief of staff in the office of Vice P, Jewel Howard Taylor, T. Titus Charley, Bai Sama G. Best, Managing Director, Daily Observer, Rodney D. Sieh, Managing Editor, Frontpage Africa, and Alex Devine, CEO of Event Consultancy and the Chief organizer of the ICON Liberia.
Cllr. Yvette Chesson Wureh, Angie Brooks International Centre for Women Empowerment, Leadership Development, International Peace and Security Establish Coordinator, said there is a greater gift that one can give to the world than education. “Don’t let nobody fool you. The step you have taken today to get an education, please don’t stop, whether it is to fix hair, cook, please don’t stop here.” She said.
Cllr. Wureh encourage the graduates to continued their schooling because it is only with education they can achieved their dreams. You see me here today, you can drop me butt naked and I will survive. I am telling you this because of my education”. She added.
According to her, after her father was assassinated along with the rest of President William R. Tolbert’s cabinet officials, they fled to America and before going she went to her schools and requested her documents but was denied.
“The only thing that can move you forward in this world is education. Please don’t let anybody fool you. My children and I were going to school in the States. I was an adult. You can make it.”
“Today, I stand before you as a member of the United States Supreme Court Bar. I want you to know that this is something you can also attain. I wasn’t 20 years old when I started going to Law School; I was an adult. Don’t let anybody stop you.” Cllr. Wureh admonished the graduates.
T. Titus Charley, Deputy Chief of staff in the office of the Vice President, Jewel Howard Taylor who proxy in on her behave said the theme for the ceremony is a clear revelation of the past where women were kept in the dark, they could not go to school and were not allowed to speak when the men spoke.
“They were in total darkness, full of pity, agony and anger, disgrace and many form of negative thereby not making an attempt to go to school or even take part in the governacing system of our country”.
According to him, women were only allowed to cook for their husbands and children and take instructions from the men. “Those were sad days when their voices were not allowed to be heard. They struggled through the wilderness to get freedom, but were denied by men who supposed to be their partners”.
“But today, the story has changed because women are partners to men and are now contributing to society. We have the first female President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and VP Taylor and so many women who are now occupying seats.”
T. Girl Joe, a graduate, said the training was indeed a success because she could not read or write anything, but after nine months she is able to read and write well. “I didn’t know how to read and write. People used to hold my hand to write, but now I can write”. Miss Joe added.
According to her, people in her community who know how to read and write always look down on those who don’t know how to read and write; a situation she said compelled her to go to school.
“We go through a lot in my community from people who are educated. They don’t easily give us attention except if it is for their benefit because they know that I don’t know how to read and write so can say anything good”.
Mariachi Charley, another student, said when you are uneducated you are indeed in darkness because you go to places and when people are talking you cannot make any impact because you are illiterate.
“When you don’t know how to read and write and you go to a certain area, it can be too shameful for you; so I am happy that I was able to attended Alfalit and through them. I can now read and write”. Miss Charley added.
When asked whether her schooling affected her children’s wellbeing, Ms. Charley said “Well we go to school in the evening, so, I prepared my children in the morning, cook for them in the afternoon and when they come home then I go to school.”