Cllr. Tiawan Saye Gongloe, a rights activist, on Sunday, July 3, notified 47 twelfth graders who completed their 2015/2016 academic work at Ricks Institute outside Monrovia, that Liberia’s dependency syndrome has hindered her national development.
The promotion of dependency instead of laying a firm nationally-driven foundation for national development is a betrayal of the promise upon which citizens elected the present administration, he told the graduates.
Cllr. Gongloe was delivering the keynote address at the institute’s closing convocation in the Washington Chapel Auditorium in Virginia, Montserrado County, on the topic, “Keeping the Promise of Maintaining Peace in Liberia: An Obligation of All Liberians.” The ceremony was jointly held for both 12th grade and kindergarten completing students.
“This betrayal of promise “has created hopelessness, a lack of trust and respect for the government of Liberia and its functionaries” in the minds of every citizen across the country,” Gongloe said.
The former Labor Minister told the students that if the government allows the situation to continue, it could undermine peace and cause a breakdown of law and order, thereby necessitating a return of the United Nations peace keeping forces to Liberia. The United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), which started in 2003 following 14 years of civil war in the country, ended on June 30, 2016.
“We must not let this happen to us. We must do nothing to undermine our collective security,” Cllr. Gongloe warned.
Addressing the 12th graders, he said, “Emerging leaders in Liberia must commit themselves to keeping the promise of maintaining peace by making a solemn vow not to be like their predecessors who failed to keep the promise of upholding the values that promote and maintain peace.”
He said the students must vote for leaders who, by their track records, have demonstrated consistency in what they say and do and therefore have the ability to keep the promise of maintaining peace in Liberia.
Cllr. Gongloe added: “Do not follow the politicians, because doing so for short term benefits is the same as undermining the peace, stability, security and progress of our country.”
“I advise you to choose your noble model wisely. Do not admire those who in a few months after getting into public office become so filthy rich as though they are money magicians,” he urged the students to a round of applause.
In their separate valedictorian addresses, two of the 12th graders (a male and female) who topped their class, said for a high school student to be successful and make it to the end of the semester, requires a lot of effort and sacrifices, which can be achieved by the student if he or she has self-confidence.
Therefore, students Shaynpue N. Guzeh and William Lawrence said their completion of the high school process should motivate their colleagues and other Liberian students to build self confidence and stand firm and work hard to battle the notion that the country’s school system is substandard and subservient to other systems of education.
Ricks Institute’s Principal and Chief Administrative Officer, Rev. Dr. Olu Q. Menjay, expressed gratitude to the parents and all those who made Sunday’s closing convocation successful, especially the guest speaker, the Liberia Baptist Missionary and Education Convention, members of the Ricks Alumni Association, and partners for their support, which enabled the institute to realize a delightful 2015/16 academic year.
“As we strive to promote learning through methods that encourage service, discipline and creativity, it is our hope that parents and guardians will provide the necessary resources and encouragement that will enable their children to go through a process that ensures holistic transformation,” said Dr. Menjay.