Vice President Joseph Boakai has urged the graduating class of Nimba County Community College (NCCC) to devote their acquired education to community service as they walked out of the walls of the institution.
VP Boakai’s admonition was contained in his commencement keynote address delivered at NCCC’s first convocation in Sanniqullie, Nimba County.
Speaking on the topic “Devoting your Education to Community Service,” he called on the graduates to not treat his message as simple, trite or even mundane, but to accept it owing to the often mischaracterized weight assigned to virtues that undergird genuine service to community.
“This is so because we have to realize the importance of commitment, diligence and patriotism as the ingredients needed for any society to develop and make progress,” he said.
“You hold in your frame and fabric the capacity to make a difference in the mix of the turbulence that currently engulfs our political-economic landscape.”
The VP reminded the graduates that their engagements only need to embody commitment, diligence and love for their country.
“Our society is plagued by a long list of vices including greed, apathy, envy, theft, cheating, impatience, cynicism, ingratitude and worse, the resort to mob justice,” he said.
In regards to these vices, Mr. Boakai cautioned the graduates to observe their roles as individuals belonging to a class, and be prepared to step forth and combat the contagious enticements of the aforementioned vices.
“You stand today at a junction, projecting before you two paths from the forks of the road in your journey. The path you embark upon will be as critical to your very existence as it will be to the community in which you live and interact with your fellowmen.
“Much like I have warned other peers of yours as they trooped out of the corridors of universities, let me similarly admonish you to not sit on your laurels, dose off in complacency or expect that now that you have earned a university degree, all things will come falling your way,” he told the graduates.
He called on them to go forth with the right mental attitude, remaining true to the fine molding they have undergone in the classrooms and set fine examples as people who have acquired what was required of them.
But should they do the contrary, Boakai warned: “Throughout all the years, all you have nursed is an aptitude for following the crowd and stooping for shortcuts and bypasses, settling for the ordinary; then of course your celebration amounts to naught, as far as the collective interest of society is concerned.”
The NCCC’s first Commencement Convocation exercise, which started on December 8, was characterized by many activities beginning with the Faculty and Staff Night, the Students Class Night, the College President Tea Party and the Baccalaureate Service.
The NCCC graduated 167 students who studied 14 disciplines including General Agriculture, Forestry, Natural Resource Management, Geology, Laboratory Technology, Nursing, Information Technology, Public Administration, Management, Accounting, Economic, Criminal Justice, Primary and Secondary Education as well as Gender Development Studies. 72 of the graduates come from the department of Science and Agriculture.
The NCCC was established in 2010, but started full academic activities in 2011. It is run by the school’s president, Dr. Yar Gonway Donlah Gono.
Dr. Gono said the school grew from 438 students to 1, 388, confirming the strong desire young Liberians have for education.
The occasion was attended by high profile government officials and representatives from other colleges and universities around the country, including: Associate Justice Kabineh Ja’neh; Minister of National Defense, Brownie J. Samukai Jr.; the Director General of the National Commission on Higher Education, Dr. Michael Slawon; and the Minister of Post and Telecommunication, Dr. Federick Norkeh.