Liberia: 12 Instructors Return from Furniture Tech Training in South Africa



The government's commitment to prioritize Technical and Vocational Education (TVET) has received a significant boost with the return of 12 carpentry teachers, including two females, who completed an intensive 14-month training in modern carpentry and joinery at the Furniture Technology (FURTECH) Institute in Cape Town, South Africa. 

These instructors will be assigned to various TVET institutions currently funded by the European Union and Government of Sweden under the Youth Rising project. 

The aim of the project is to strengthen Liberia's TVET sector by improving infrastructure, capacity development of TVET HQ staff, and providing high-quality, demand-driven technical education for young people to become employable in society. 

However, On March 1, 2023, Rogers Ndege, the CTA and Project Manager at UNIDO, presented the instructors to the Ministries of Education, Youth, and Sports upon their return to Liberia under the Capacity Building Component of the European Union and the Government of Sweden "Youth Rising Project." 

He lauded the European Union, Government of Sweden, and Liberian government for their smooth partnership, and highlighted the significance of having female carpentry instructors.

"I have never come across a female instructor. Initially, the minister told him that these people had no knowledge of carpentry. So, after 14 months in South Africa at FURTECH, I want to take this opportunity to present them to the government of Liberia as the 12 trained teachers in carpentry. I want to believe that they are the most trained people in carpentry in this country," he said.

The Assistant Minister for TVET at the Ministry of Education, Saku S. Dukuly, expressed his gratitude towards the European Union and Government of Sweden for helping build the capacity of Liberian TVET experts. 

He welcomed back the instructors and stated that their return is also a manifestation of the Liberian leader's dream of ensuring a vibrant TVET sector is realized. 

Additionally, the Assistant Youth and Sports Minister and Project Steering Committee Chair on TVET commended the ministers for entrusting them with the responsibility of delivering human capacity development under the Youth Rising Project.

Dukuly continued, “We are here today to welcome back home 12 teachers who underwent advanced training in general carpentry at the Furniture Technology Center in Cape Town, South Africa. We are expecting another batch of teachers from Zambia in the areas of electricity, machinery, automotive technology, and air conditioner refrigeration to return soon," he said.

He thanked the European Union and Government of Sweden, through their taxpayers, especially under the Youth Rising Project, for helping to build the capacity of Liberian TVET experts.

"I can truly say that when you talk about the visibility of results for this particular program, the Youth Rising Project, it is second to none as far as investment in TVET in Liberia is concerned," he said with a thunderous clap.

Also speaking, the Assistant Youth and Sports Minister and Project Steering Committee Chair on TVET commended the Ministers, Prof. D. Ansu Sonii of Education, and D. Zeogar Wilson for entrusting him and others with the confidence reposed in them to deliver based on their instructions and directives. 

He said the issues of human capacity development under the Youth Rising Project are on course.

Sheriff, who received the instructors on behalf of the two ministers, stated that the EU support under the youth Rising project is pushing for 120 TVET instructors to be trained, and out of that amount, they have had 64 instructors trained in foreign countries, which makes this the second batch of returnees.

He disclosed that the government and its partners are further processing an additional 46 instructors to be sent out to Ghana, Benin, and Senegal, all under this project to acquire TVET knowledge.

Sheriff noted, "So, this project is to ensure that we get our TVET institutions capacitated to the point that will make people potentially stand."

The Head of Delegation of the European Union to Liberia, Ambassador Laurent Delahousse, emphasized the importance of TVET in reducing youth unemployment and poverty in the country, and encouraged the instructors to make use of the knowledge they have acquired. He also promised continued support from his government towards the sector.

According to him, TVET is a sure way to reduce youth unemployment and poverty in the country, and therefore encourage them to make use of the knowledge acquired.

He added that without any single basis for education, Liberia or its people will go nowhere, and we have decided that, as the EU, we will put more emphasis on TVET, even though we cannot contribute to everything in Liberia.

Delahousse also noted that TVET is a central issue, and as such, he promised his government's commitment to continue to support the sector.

Minister of Youth and Sports, D. Zeogar Wilson, pledged the government's commitment to meeting the needs of the youth and improving the capacity of the country's educational sector to create a more robust TVET service. 

Finally, the beneficiaries expressed their gratitude towards the government of Liberia, the European Union, Government of Sweden, and UNIDO for their support in acquiring advanced knowledge in carpentry, and are ready to give back to their country through their respective places of assignment.