About 40 Liberian youths will be afforded the opportunity to attend high schools in Italy thanks to the generosity of the creator and international coordinator of the Pitagora Mundus Project, the Calabrian Institute of International Politics (IsCaPI), which has provided the government of Liberian these scholarship slots.
According to a recent dispatch from Italy, the offer was announced by the Institute’s President, Dr. Salvatore La Porta, at a meeting with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf during her recent visit to Rome, Italy.
Selected teenagers between the ages of 14 to 16 will benefit from this scholarship. They will also be taught professional courses to compliment the academic criteria.
Briefing President Sirleaf on the scholarships, Dr. La Porta said the 20 selected teenagers would attend Italian high schools in the 2014/2015 academic year; while the remaining 20 students would attend during the 2015/2016 academic year.
“They will be admitted to professional courses, in order to acquire a specific qualification in one of the following sectors: agriculture, industry, wood industry and tourism,” he said.
Dr. La Porta said the project, which is expected to last for three years, would enable Italian and Liberian students to interact with each other and peers from different cultures, lifestyles, religions, languages and customs, enriching their knowledge while becoming global citizens.
The project is renewable for two additional years upon the completion of the initial time frame if the need arises.
The responsibility of the government under this arrangement is to guarantee the presence of at least one tutor for the 20 students, who would assume the role of linguistic and cultural mediator.
The tutor would be responsible to accompany the students for the entire duration of the school year and give out round trip air tickets for students provided by the Government. The Government would provide the tutor accompanying each batch of students a monthly remuneration for the duration of that particular school year.
Government is to provide an annual flat-rate funding of €1,000 per student, to be administered by IsCaPI, aimed at organizing extracurricular activities and supplementary courses of the Italian language, in addition to administrative support and coordination; funding for medical insurance coverage and residence permits.
The IsCaPi boss noted the schools that the students are to attend have committed themselves to provision of education and training according to the guidelines defined by the new regulations of upper secondary schools; report the outcome to the Liberian partner regarding the learning process and behavior of students in correspondence with the feedback given by the school; provide to the tutor a monthly report in reference to attendance and absences of any nature and causes of delays regarding students.
He said the Municipalities (the local government) would provide the students’ meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner), lodging, transportation, laundry, room cleaning, internet, electricity, and supply water and heating, even during holiday periods and/or suspension of educational activities.
The IsCaPI would guarantee the general coordination of the Project in Italy and coordinate the mediation of cultural, linguistic, social and extracurricular activities in the area; including administrative and logistic assistance to students.
President Sirleaf thanked Dr. La Porta for the scholarships and promised that deserving Liberians would take advantage of the opportunity through a competitive process.