Foreign Minister Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan has warned that if Liberia does not put an end to illiteracy, it will be illiteracy that will instead put an end to the country.
The Foreign Minister used his Commencement Convocation speech at the Salvation Army-run William Booth High School’s 15th Graduation Exercise to caution the nation about the risk of illiteracy.
“We must dedicate more and more of our nation’s resources to education, because of a simple and somber truth, if Liberia does not put an end to illiteracy, illiteracy will put an end to the country,” Minister Ngafuan stated amidst applause at a jam-packed ceremony that took place over the weekend at the school’s premises in Paynesville, outside Monrovia.
He stressed that schools must build libraries and research centers that are conducive for learning to enable Liberian students compete with the cinemas and the beaches.
The Minister then emphasized the need for schools to build ‘fantastic’ reading rooms, and recreation centers that can compete with the ‘fantastic Fridays’ that see Liberian students flood the beaches and alcoholic beverages-filled bars expending their youthful energies and exuberance on things that will accrue little benefits to them in the future.
To the graduates, 192 of them styled, ‘Pa-Da-Stra-A-Da-Stra (a German expression meaning, ‘From difficulties to success’), the Foreign Minister said, “My advice to you is to read, read, read, and read. Your commencement today is the first step…My first advice to you is to move on with your education, because acquiring a high school diploma is no guarantee for success in the new Liberia. Do not allow this little success to make you drunk. He added that no one ever finishes book.”
He urged them, upon leaving the high school of William Booth, to venture into the ‘hard school of life’.
To the parents, he urged them, “never to refrain from engaging their children at all levels of their development, especially during their formative years. Any responsible and caring parent would like to know what kind of peers your children mingle and interact with.”
The Valedictorian for the graduates, Reggie Feahn, urged his fellow graduates to match expectations with their level of education.
Student Feahn who built his speech on the topic, “Education, The Instrument for Nation Building,” appealed to the government to increase its subsidiaries to private schools, noting that education is the light in darkness, and the foundation on which Liberia will be built.