“In your performance do not settle for mediocrity, for this world is increasingly becoming competitive. What is modern today may so quickly become obsolete by daybreak tomorrow,” Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai cautioned 518 individuals who graduated from the Economic Empowerment of Adolescent Girls and Young Women (EPAG) Round 4 over the weekend in Monrovia.
VP Boakai told the graduates to consider their learning as a privilege, which they should cherish rather than letting it become out of date by failing to apply the best or average of what they learned over the years.
Boakai wants the young graduates to understand that learning has no limitation and therefore, they should not be complacent with what they had acquired to qualify them to graduate.
“I know that this step comes from the hard reality that both males and females share similar needs when it comes to preparing themselves to serve their country. This is a positive and welcoming shift in the direction of gender balance that will never remain the same,” Boakai said.
He commended the Gender Ministry for what he called its collaboration with service providers such as the National Adult Education of Liberia (NAEAL) and EDUcare-Liberia to implement the project, which has so far witnessed the successful graduation of 970 adolescent girls and 200 adolescent boys from the EPAG program.
Gender Minister Julia Duncan Cassell said she was pleased that young girls and boys willingly showed up to learn something for their own benefit.
The program was introduced in 2009 by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to empower young girls and boys to be able to rely on themselves after receiving skills training that will enable them to successfully contribute to the rebuilding of the country.
Of the 518 graduates, 100 were from the Pipeline Community in Paynesville, while the rest of the girls came from Grand Bassa, Margibi, and Montserrado counties.
The graduates were awarded certificates in their various disciplines.
The EPAG is the Ministry of Gender’s pilot skills training program geared towards enabling girls and young women in particular, as well as a small portion of the male population, to gain access to self-empowerment after acquiring skills training.
It is part of the World Bank Global Girls Initiative, which is implemented in Haiti, South Sudan, Afghanistan, Jordan, Laos, Rwanda, Nepal and Liberia.