Breaking the Barrier of Age Stereotype

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Mr. Yokolo smiles joyously as he stands ready to receive another degree after striving among the younger generation..jpg

It is widely perceived in Liberian society that there is no need for a man or a woman above 45 years to seek a Bachelor’s degree. Most would say the pursuit of tertiary education is better suited for younger individuals.

Because of this perception, many people in this age category no longer pursue college education. Most often, they prefer supporting their own children’s academic pursuits because sitting in class with much younger students seems like a waste of time.

However, one of the University of Liberia’s 95th  graduates, David Yokolo, opposes this perception and made the choice to compete with his own children in the walls of the university.

Speaking to the Daily Observer in an interview on December 18, at UL’s 95th Commencement Convocation, Mr. Yokolo intoned that age is not a hindrance to learning as long as you are determined.

Mr. Yokolo’s seven children made attempts to discourage their father from continuing his education, yet in spite of this fact, he chose to make himself relevant to his family and the society by pursuing another bachelor’s degree.

“My own children discouraged me from pursuing another bachelor’s degree when I did not have the financial capacity to pursue My master’s degree after earning the first Bachelor’s in Agriculture a few years ago.  Nevertheless, I persisted and entered among the young people once again; even though they made fun of me a whole lot.  Despite these challenges, I remained consistent and I am happy to graduate with a bachelor’s in Public Administration and Sociology,” Mr. Yokolo expressed with delight.

Besides the two bachelor’s degrees he has earned, Mr. Yokolo had previously enrolled at the Kakata Rural Teacher Training Institute (KRTTI) and earned his ‘B’ Certificate.

He then participated in the Canadian Teacher Training Program once sponsored by the National Teacher Association of Liberia (NTAL) and has had long years of experience in the Teaching field.

According to Mr. Yokolo, food security and production was quite significant to the survival of the country, which is why he chose to heighten his achievement from KRTTI by pursuing a Bachelor of Science (BSc.) degree in Agriculture.

He added that getting a degree in Public Administration is advantageous because he would use the theories he learned to plan, organize, control, and lead a group of people in their chosen careers of either Education or Agriculture.

Comparing pre-war learning to that of today, Mr. Yokolo noted that there used to be more discipline in both homes and schools in contrast to present times. He lamented that the current generation of students does not show interest in reading and making research.

He said restoring Liberia’s educational heritage would require a tough stance where people are forced to face the consequences of actions that breach the ethics and laws of the educational sector.

Mr. David Yokolo is not the first to make this expression about continuing with education in old age.

It can be recalled that a 50 years old woman graduated with students of Tubman High School last academic year, and she promised to continue her education at college level to get a degree and join the Foreign Service.

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