Liberia: “We Remain Committed to Advancement of Quality Education”

.... President Weah asserts, as Adventist University graduates 217 in various disciplines

President George Weah says his administration remains committed to the advancement of quality education and will continue to provide quality education to the young people and future leaders, which is a priority of the Coalition for Democratic Change led-government.

President Weah said he is passionate about education and believes that, for Liberia to continue on a trajectory of sustainable growth and development, it is imperative that Liberia develops the minds of the youths.

President Weah made the remarks at the 8th commencement convocation of the Adventist University of West Africa (AUWA), held Thursday, May 26, at Advent Hill, Schiefflin Township, Robertsfield Highway, Margibi County.

“You have received a holistic value-based education from the AUWA. This is a kind of light that is needed for rebuilding Liberia. Each and every one of you should be conscious of the realization of the true values that have been imparted to you here, not only for societal development and nation-building but also for your personal development,” President Weah said.

The President said his administration is determined to improve the educational system of Liberia and will continue to demonstrate this by making significant financial commitments in the sector and the Government as the largest investor.

“For the 2020-2021 budget period, the Government appropriated nearly $80 million US dollars to the education sector, which amounted to fourteen (14%) percent of a total national budget of $570 million US dollars for that fiscal year. Under the 2022 National Budget, we have increased spending on education, so all the interventions can lead to systemic and positive transformations. These budgetary increments will continue annually, despite limited resources and competing priorities,” President Weah said.

He commended the efforts of the West-Central Africa Division of Seventh-day Adventists; the West Africa Union Mission and the South West Liberia Conference, all of which complement and enhance the activities of the Government of Liberia in the educational field.

The AUWA is a faith-based institution of higher learning, whose mission is to promote the development of the spiritual, intellectual, physical, and social capacities of students, thereby preparing them for peaceful co-existence, knowledge advancement, exemplary leadership, harmonious relationships, and service to God and humanity.

He said the AUWA goals were indeed laudable because they are in consonance with the objectives of the Educational Pillar of the national development plan, the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD). 

President Weah told the AUWA administration that they are making an important contribution to the social reconstruction and economic recovery of a country coming out of protracted years of civil war and encouraged the administration to continue to play this important role.

He expressed gratitude to family members, friends, and supporters of the graduates, stating: “if you have supported a member of today's graduating class in getting to this point in their matriculation, then the celebration today is also about you.”

He continued: “It is often said that young students and graduates like you are the future leaders of Liberia.  But I take a different view. Firstly, by attending this University and achieving this important milestone in your academic journey, you have already catapulted yourself into leadership.

“You are not Liberia's future leaders, you are leaders right now in your communities, villages, cities, towns, and places of work. The fortunate few who have had the privilege of higher education, you can begin now to put your newly acquired skill sets and knowledge to work as leaders.  You can begin to contribute to the dialogue and the narrative that will define the present, and shape your tomorrow.”

He urged the graduates to always be peace-loving because, without peace, there can be no development because education and graduation today are a direct dividend of the peace that we have enjoyed for more than two decades now. 

“At all times, you should let your behavior be guided by the Rule of Law and you should always remain law-abiding,” President Weah urged.

The president of the Adventist University of West Africa, Pastor Dr. Emmanuel G. M. Kollie, said the declining situation of the country’s education sector motivated the institution’s past leaders to dream of a university that will fill the gap.

“The Adventists are aware that building a nation begins with the acquisition of value-based education that is transformative and holistic in nature. The motive of the Adventists education system is to redeem and restore human beings back to their creator, God of the universe,” Dr. Kollie said.

According to him, since the inception of the university, it has produced over 900 graduates, and Thursday’s commencement is a landmark, as the university adds to the chat list.