‘Be Intentional, Conscious of Your Role in Shaping Liberia’s Future’

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Former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Elias B. Shoniyin

Former Minister Shoniyin admonishes educational institutions

Former Deputy Foreign Minister, B. Elias Shoniyin, has called on education institutions in Liberia to be progressive in responding to the needs of society by building a positive mindset that promotes hard work, honesty, and objectivity.

Mr. Shoniyin made the remarks on Friday, June 12, 2020, at the Starz University graduation of 151 young Liberians for their academic achievement. This is the fourth graduation convocation of Starz University.

“As Starz University has begun doing, it is incumbent on all educational institutions across this nation to be intentional and conscious of their role in shaping the future direction of our country,” Mr. Shoniyin said.

He said beyond the traditional curriculum, high schools and universities should be required to include civic responsibility, integrity, and entrepreneurship courses in their curricula.

“Lecturers should not only be hired on the basis of academic qualification, but also for their ability to inspire their students to adopt positive attitudes and bring innovation to the classroom,” Mr. Shoniyin said.

Mr. Shoniyin said lecturers should equip their students with the ability to find real-life solutions and build self-confidence in such a way that promotes big dreams and energizes them to boldly and fearlessly confront the future.

“If our Universities fail to adopt new approaches to educating our youth, they will produce graduates who tolerate mediocrity and conditions that weight heavily on society, because they are not trained to be problem solvers,” he said.

He continued “when you the graduates embarked on this academic journey a few years ago, many of you were grappling with the fact that you were not sure of what to expect, and when this study period was going to come to an end. But here we are all gathered in honor of your work, your tenacity, and your outstanding dedication and courage.”

Mr. Shoniyin told the graduates that today marks a turning point for them not because degrees are being conferred on them, but that they are headed out there into the real world.

Minister Shoniyin reflecting on the Coronavirus that has claimed many lives in the world went further to say: “We stand at the moment of a great global health crisis – the COVID 19 pandemic. While we celebrate today, we remember the more than 400,000 people around the world who have succumbed to the virus.”

He, however, said despite this time of involuntary limited human contacts, thanks to technological advancement, that virtual space can be created for us to continue to engage.

The convocation exercise coincides with the tenth anniversary of this University, and in that respect, he congratulated Mr. Latim DaThong, whose vision and dedication propelled the evolution of Starz University over the last decade.

He said Mr. Latim has inspired all of us by dedicating his life’s work to promote quality education in Liberia, through Starz University, to empower a generation of today and those after us.

“We celebrate all of you today as you renew your dedication to the mission of providing quality and useful education to those who shape Liberia’s future,” Mr. Shoniyin said.

The graduation was attended by the President of the University, Chairman and Members of the Board of Trustees of Starz University, Vice Presidents of the University President of the Alumni Association Faculty and Staff.

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