Students of the Gabriel L. Dennis Foreign Service Institute at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are requesting an updated library that would help keep them informed.
The students’ request was raised during the time of their recently held election which bought into power Roger T. Suah as president; Paula L. Mcborough as vice president, Julius Kanubah as secretary general; Deddeh Tokpah as financial secretary; Theresa N. Perwehn as Treasure and Alfreda Sambola Tozay as Chaplain.
The election chairman, Alfred W. Nyanaso, said in an interview that students raised concerns during the campaign about having the needed books on hand for their use.
“Although there are books in the library, it needs to be upgraded with the latest books to help students have access to recent information,” Mr. Nyanaso said.
In addition to the need for books, Mr. Nyanaso said students are also concerned about the relationship existing between the Foreign Service Institute and the Ministry of Internal Affairs; the relationship between the Foreign Service Institute and Liberian diplomats abroad, and between the Institute and foreign diplomats serving in Liberia.
Speaking to the Daily Observer in an interview on Sunday, April 6, the president-elect, Roger T. Suah, said while there are books in the library, they still lack books published by Liberian writers about the country’ foreign service.
He said because of the lack of Liberian written textbooks, they do not have much information on Liberian Foreign Service.
He noted that as he and his co-workers take the leadership position, they would consult with the entire student body to identify challenges in the institution and embark on finding solutions to solve them.
On the issue of relationships, the newly elected Foreign Service Institute’s president said he would strategize means to ask administration to bring in foreign mission guests serving in Liberia to have lecture series with the students.
He said this would help them gain some intellectual capacity to enhance their understanding in diplomatic missions.
He further indicated that the career in Foreign Service is not about becoming a rich man, but a matter of passion and serving one’s country.
The Foreign Service Institute student election on April 5 was monitored by members of the National Elections Commission.
A representative of NEC at the election told the students that the process was important. He said in spite of many people’s education, they still cannot easily understand the processes associated with elections.
The representative said having elections in an institution like the Foreign Service is important because it allows people to understand the electoral process from the grass roots.
There were 43 students that registered to partake in the election, while 41 cast ballots.
Conductors of the election praised the process and said students exercised maturity at all levels without commotion or discontentment over results.
Gabriel L. Dennis of the Foreign Service Institute is in a post graduate program in the Foreign Ministry that trains Liberians in Foreign Service and diplomacy.
Enrollment requires that a person obtains his/her first university degree, receives police clearance and undergoes three testing sessions (multiple choice, essay and a face to face interview) before admission based on the result.