Bong Technical College Holds First Commencement Since Establishment

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Graduates of Bong Technical College, the first group since the college began academic activities in 2013.

Bong County Technical College (BCTC), one of the community colleges established in 2010, has graduated its first batch of 22 students since it began active academic activities in 2013. Being one of the first of its kind established, BCTC has been facing setbacks with corruption permeated by county officials, including some past legislators. The situation strangulated the completion of the college and prevented its academic enhancement.

The Bong Technical College was established in 2010 by an act of Legislature for the sole purpose of educating aspiring students in disciplines that are technical and skill-oriented.

Delivering the commencement address at the first graduation ceremony in the history of the institution on December 19, 2020, the President of the Nimba County Community College (NCCC), Dr. Edward Lama Wonkeryor, challenged the graduates to be persistent in their academic endeavors, stressing that ‘persistence’ is a key to success, adding that it is necessary for making progress in life.

Dr. Wonkeryor lauded the President of the BCTC, Dr. Roland C. Massaquoi, for the level of work done at the College and admonished graduates of the various high schools in Bong County to take advantage of the College in order to acquire higher education to contribute to the rebuilding of Bong County and Liberia at large.

Dr. Wonkeryor also lauded President Dr. George M. Weah for the opportunity provided to allow the present generation of students to acquire higher education in various public universities and Colleges in the Country to become productive citizens.

Additionally, Dr. Wonkeryor challenged the graduates of the BCTC to use their education to help develop the country.

“This is no understatement that you are graduating at a time that our country, Liberia, is facing serious challenges and needs productive and honest people like you the graduates to usher Liberia into technological skills,” he said.

“You should not use your degrees or education to engage in any negative thing that will derail the image of our country or hamper the development of Liberia,” Dr. Wonkeryor cautioned.

In a related development, a senatorial candidate in the recent election in Bong County, Dr. Mogana Flomo, has awarded a scholarship to the dux of the Bong County Technical College to study at the Mohandas K. Gandhi University in India.

Speaking during the occasion, Dr. Flomo said out of the 22 graduates, the College of Agriculture graduated 14 students with two of the 14 graduating with certificates in Natural Rubber production and processing of Rubber Smoked Sheets, while 6 students graduated from the College of Education.

Since its establishment, the College lost two semesters to Ebola epidemic of 2014 and two semesters to COVID-19 this year. Also, a series of protests from students of the College over the slow pace of the development of the college facility resulted in the disruption of classes for two semesters.

The BCTC’s first commencement convocation celebrates the ‘PONO A PAI’ Class of 2020 (a Kpelle language meaning, ‘The Light has come’).

The college was accredited by the National Commission on Higher Education to offer undergraduate degrees in Computer Science, Mining Engineering, Civil Engineering, Agriculture Technology, Science, Education, and Nursing.

Its doors were opened to students on November 18, 2013, and has since provided services to qualified students from around Liberia. The current enrollment of the College stands at over 1,000 students.

10 COMMENTS

  1. Congratulations, graduates ! I hope you will add values to the Liberian economy.

    My Liberian people, I say, let me ask you people one question, why are we building so many community colleges? Nimba Community College, Bong Community College, etc.?
    I hope I will get replies from, at least, Dr. Flomo and Dr. Wonkeryor.

    Are we (Liberians) imagining the industrialization of our economy? Do we have the ambition to customize our development? Do we want to breed qualified technocrats who can build the foundation of the country in every sector? Do we want to explore our seabeds and natural resources beneath our subsoil?
    In a nutshell, do we need applied skills in the fabrics of our economy?

    If the answer to any of my questions above is YES, we MUST BUILD A POLYTECHNIC in Liberia, preferably in Gbarnga. Do not wait for the white guys to come and tell us this again, it will be stupid and shameful on our part.
    Those corrupt and sick lawmakers voted imbecilities to fill their pockets to travel to the USA. Do they have any of their children attending the community colleges they have built? This is first class WICKEDNESS. You guys will burn in hell if you don’t bring back the Liberian people’s money.

    For a population of less than 5 million inhabitants, we have TC in Maryland, BWI in Kakata, MVTC in Monrovia, VTC in Yekepa to maintain and upgrade. Recently, a beautiful marine institute was inaugurated. Make these institutions functional to attract foreign students from other countries.
    Moreover, we have private entrepreneurships in technical and theoretical higher training and learning.

    You prefer sending your uncles or brothers to those institutions with honorary or theological doctorate degrees to kill them instead of sending vibrant, bright and innovative minds to boost and attract the best brains to make Liberia competitive.
    How can we hate ourselves like that, Liberians? When are we going to wake up to do things like the rest of the world?

    Weah, you promise FIXES, when are you going to begin these FIXES? None of Ellen’s children or grandchildren or great grandchildren will attend any of those schools but you, Weah, your children and grandchildren or other relatives will attend them. Bring us FIXES, Gbekugbeh!

    I prefer bringing in a Nigerian or Ghanaian or any other nationals to head any of our institutions of reference than having an unqualified Liberian.
    I will however never accept a Nigerian or a Ghanaian or any other national occupying a position of sovereignty like the NEC Chairmanship.

    Let’s come to ourselves and make Liberia look normal, my people! We are like aliens on planet earth in the way we think and do things.
    I pray that my time on this platform was not a wasted one. May God touch Liberians to begin to think and do things like normal human beings!

  2. Mon petit frere,
    You have brought up a lot of issues. As always, I will not shy away from performing my patriotic duties. One of my patriotic duties calls for fighting against the disorganized Liberian opposition. You’ve been identified as a core member of the opposition.

    (1). You’re asking the Liberian people to tell you why is it that the government of Weah is building community colleges in Bong and Nimba counties.

    Response:
    I would like to historicize the issue. During the late 1950s-70s, there was a teacher’s college in the beautiful county of Maryland. It was an accredited Catholic institution. The college was called “Our Lady of Fatima” college. When Tubman decided to build a technical college in Maryland, he ordered the Teacher’s college closed. Do you think Tubman was right to shut down an accredited institution? Remember, Tubman’s government did not pay a dime to finance Our Lady of Fatima college!

    Something To Think About……
    Every student does not have a technical ability. Some people are good at teaching, some people are good at electronics, medicine, etc. Today in Liberia, there’s a shortage of good teachers. But why? In my view, had the Teacher’s college not shut down by Tubman, there wouldn’t have been a shortage of teachers in Liberia. (I know there was a 14-year war. The Fatima college would have closed. But, we would have had Liberian students at Fatima college today)

    Big Question……….
    Monseiur Defender, do you know how many high schools there were in Nimba county during the 1960s? Don’t bother to include Ganta Methodist and other private schools that were in existence in Nimba during those years.

    Now look. When you have a number of schools and colleges in a specific area, competition exists, students learn more and illiteracy declines.

    Nimba county is huge. My youngest brother went to school in Tappita. He was liked at his school because he played good soccer! Aside from that, if a community or junior college exists in Nimba and Bong, no crime will be committed. It will make no sense for a Nimbaian youth to travel to Monrovia to attend college if she or he can get an AA degree from his or her county. When you have Junior colleges in the counties, illiteracy will definitely be driven down. Lastly, you and your opposition colleagues argue that jobs ought to be created by Weah. I agree. We agree. But the existence of Junior colleges will help in terms of job creation. Again, I ask? Does Weah get an inch of a credit? Just one inch?

    Come on, Mon petit Frere. Wake up. Don’t spread your antidulivian ANC educational ideas like that. Smell the coffee.

    Merry Christmas! Stay safe out there. Eat rice with your juicy palm butter stuffed with meat from Yupogon. Stay away from futuban.

  3. Grand Frere,

    First, let me put things right: the community colleges herein were all built under the Ellen’s administration. It was her idea and so I am calling on Gbekugbeh to correct the situation.

    Back to the point
    I like to always bring in Cote d’Ivoire as an example to talk about many things in Liberia. In my adopted country, every hamlet or village has at least 1 elementary school with qualified teachers. When a student graduates from grade 5, he is sent to a town or city with a junior high school. In so doing, you are making the child mature; learning to live without the parents being around.
    Such child will begin to live with a guardian who may or may never be related to his biological parents. (The start of maturity and community solidarity)

    Upon graduation from grade 12, the brightest of the young graduates, based on their field of studies (sciences or arts), are either sent to the polytechnic in Yamousoukro or abroad or at the university in Abidjan (only university until 1993). The rest of them who make a pass (B and C students) are sent to private colleges or to technical colleges scattered in major regions in the country.

    Upon graduation, the students who went abroad and those from the polytechnic in Yamoussoukro are usually the people who constitute the bedrock of decision-makers and leaders in the country.
    University graduates can also become leaders, professors, businessmen, etc. while people with technical skills undertake all such jobs in companies and with the government.
    It should also noted that students from any of these categories can integrate the military, police, gendarmerie and any other security apparatus.

    With the above strata, you have highly qualified human resources in every fabric of the Ivorian economy.
    Grand Frere, this country has highly trained technicians and respected scholars beyond its borders.

    In the same way, I expect the GOL of to build us a real university. What we have in Monrovia (Central town and Fendell combine) is like one college in Cote d’Ivoire.
    When our brothers and sisters graduate from high schools in the various counties, the bright ones should attend prestigious institutions of higher learning so that they can lead the country tomorrow. They must go to Monrovia at the expense of the government to get quality education and exposure to be better equipped to face the future with optimism.
    The guy was born in Nimba, attended community college in Nimba and begins to search for job. What perspective does such person have nationwide?

    We need to start our development process, or else the few lucky Liberians, like you, who left Liberia for the USA will only pretend to come back or love Liberia through mere lip service. Patriotism is concrete and exemplified from our deeds.

    Liberia needs to train her own diplomats, civil servants and scholars. We can send them out to share experience with other colleagues in the same domain.

    Grand Frere, I am not here out of infancy or juvenile delinquency, as Mr. Walsh once said. I am not retired, and my time is precious. I am here to see if I can make an impact or send a declic to our leadership.
    Most so-called Liberian leaders I have interacted with all NOT patriotic! They pretend to be, just to have the opportunity to travel to the USA.
    I wish I can help as many of such people so that they can leave us, the country “asses” (sorry for the use of this word Grand Frere) alone to start something solid for our country.
    The love of liberty does not define my affiliation with the place called Liberia, neither is the search for a better livelihood.

    I love where the village of my forebears is found, I would love to see it make headways. I am convinced, from what I have seen and read, that only through quality education, we can reach our goal!

    Merry Christmas, Grand Frere!

  4. Petit Frere,
    It has become abundantly clear to me that as long as you live, you will never give Weah a credit. Every time Weah proposes something, you knock it down by saying it was proposed by Madam EJS. But at the same time, you want your readers to believe that you’ve got superior development ideas than anyone. Petit Frere, things don’t work out like that.

    Please take a listen. I know you like Liberia. I don’t always disagree with you. Like you, I am concerned about education in our country. We both believe that the educational system of our country needs an overhaul. In order for us to achieve our national goal on education, we need to plan. My point is no single person has the cure.

    Secondly, you raised the issue of why Junior Colleges are being constructed in Nimba as well as in Bong. You didn’t address the issue head-on, but rather you jumped to your adopted country (the Ivory coast) in order to lecture on the goodness of Ivory coast’s educational system.

    Please note that your adopted country (the Ivory coast) and Liberia are two distinct countries. I have a feeling that although the system serves the Ivorians uniquely, their educational system may not be conducive to ours. It’s my belief that Liberia’s educational system can be greatly improved if the time is taken to plan comprehensively. Yes it is possible. I totally agree that the appointed educators of Liberia should do something to improve education in Liberia.

    In the US, the system of checks and balances work. Democrats believe that their ideas are
    the best. On the other hand, the Republicans counter that idea by saying their ideas are the best. Usually, the voters of America solve the conundrum. On November 3rd of this year, the Americans told the Republicans that the Democrats had the best of economic, political and social ideas. The problem was solved.

    ANC/CPP vs. CDC
    Alexander Benedict Cummings and his colleagues have not put forth any comprehensive educational system. I sometimes wonder if you’re the front man. You know everything that needs to be done in ANC government. However, a good plan is needed in order to move our country forward.

    Caveat:
    Mon petit Frere, you and your opposition colleagues have to be careful. Weah could be seen by you and the opposition as a weak and an incompetent guy. But, don’t be so sure. Politics is “vacious”, that’s the exact word you used a couple of months ago. Come 2023, you and your colleagues may find yourselves in a pit of disaster. When that happens, the Liberian people will not rally around you.

    Peace

  5. Grand Frere,

    You do not give credit to someone with no merits. Why do you want me to give Weah credits on what he has not done?
    I have a niece who graduated from the Nimba Community College in 2018, the year Weah became president.
    According the article above, the Bong Community College started in 2010, more than 10 years ago. Why should I give credit to Weah for these schools?

    I am telling Weah that these community colleges may not stand the test of time. They may not even serve Liberia appropriately in the medium and long terms.
    I am telling Weah to think about a polytechnic instead of community colleges. The University of Liberia should be expanded to its fullest. We do not need a proliferation of higher institutions without the rightful lecturers and resources.

    Liberia is NOT the USA. This idea of community college could have been fantastic in the USA. Liberia has a central government that controls everything. If such government is mundane, the entire system stalls.
    To succeed in implementing this community college syndrome, we must advocate for a decentralized system; a system in which each county will function like an independent state with its own set laws and development models.
    If not, leave community college education with the private sector, like CUC, AME, etc.

    The bunch of disco dancers we have in the executive mansion right now cannot help Liberia. They will only delay or stall development.
    They have no creativity to generate income; they are depending on what Ellen created, some of which left the country upon her departure.
    Can you imagine, as a family man, working for 13 or 6 months without salary? Gosssssssh!

    The ANC has a comprehensive plan for the educational system of Liberia. Revisit our campaign platform of 2017. We have a detailed plan on our blog. You can still consult it.
    I am not the front man for the educational plan, but I read and understood it to the fullest before throwing in my weight behind the party.
    The ANC will NEVER undertake amateur or half-witted projects in Liberia. We will not seek to please the outside world to the detriment of our people.

    The ANC will sincerely work for the Liberian people and curb corruption as much as possible.
    The ANC is a gathering of true patriots, eager and willing to improving the livelihoods of all those living on the portion of land called Liberia!

    If Weah wants to win election in 2023 like Biden, then we will be happy to witness such election.
    However, he should remember that Liberians may not be as law abiding as the people of the USA to patiently go through the courts to settle such disputes.
    We have a standing army ready to keep the hard-earned peace at the blood of thousands of brave women and men from all around the world.

    There is a Liberian parable that says, “the baboon knows which trees to clean its butts on!”

  6. Mon petit Frere,
    You continue to evade the main point. You want to know why Community Colleges are built in Bong and Nimba counties. Right?

    Let’s suspend the issue of giving Weah a credit. Because as you look at it, everything Weah does was proposed by EJS. If Weah says, “let there be free College tuition”, you will say that Weah’s proposal originated from EJS. Petit frere, I am convinced you’ll never give credit to Weah.

    What I was trying to get over to you and the readers is this…if you don’t think it makes sense for two Community Colleges to exist in two adjacent counties, EJS shouldn’t be given any credit. Why? Because she did it! You don’t think it is sensible for two Junior Colleges to operate in two adjacent counties. EJS constructed the two Community Colleges.

    But the nagging question remains unanswered…. which of the Community Colleges should be closed? And why? Also, where do and Alexander Benedict Cummings intend to construct a Polytechnic institution?

    The William Tubman Mistake. Or was it a mistake or a killer idea?

    Tubman ordered the Fatima Teachers’ College closed because a technical university was about to be built. The Catholic institution did not operate with funds from the Liberian government Treasury. Finally, when the technical university started, a college of education was not included in the mix. Today in Liberia, there’s a shortage of teachers. Had the Fatima college not ordered closed by Tubman, Liberia wouldn’t have had a shortage of competent teachers.

    Every child is not endowed with technical skills. It’s good for the Junior colleges to operate in Nimba and Bong. Yes, we need a Polytechnic institution, but Tubman Technical college was constructed in order to operate as a college of technology. No Teachers’ college though.

    Mon Frere, what on earth do you mean by,
    “we have a standing army”?
    Petit Frere, are you threatening violence? Are you trying to imply the use of force if the ANC loses in 2023? I find that difficult to understand. Liberians do not want Trumpian tactics. No threats, please!

    Said you, “I am not a front man, but I read it and understood it to be the fullest…”

    Really, Mon Frere, you know more about the operations of the ANC than it appears. There’s a hidden educational agenda that you are aware of. Good luck! But when do you intend to publicize your educational plan? 2023? Ouch!

    Said you, “America has a central plan that guides everything”.

    Not true at all. The federal government of the US provides funding. But the money that’s used to pay teachers does not come from the United States’ Treasury!!! Each county runs it’s own schools and pays it’s teachers. But, sometimes, the state chips in and sometimes the federal chips in, money wise. The state sets guidelines only. I know this very well because I have worked for two school districts in two different states. I didn’t work simultaneously in two states; it only happened when I transferred from one state to another.

    Finally, keep trying. But Weah is like Mount Kilimanjaro. If you win, you win. There’ll be no reason to sweat profusely or laugh like our friend. If you mess with me, I will do his open-mouth laugh! Forget the flies bro.
    🤪😛😩😬🥵😵😫😛😝😜🤪😆😅😂🤣😁

  7. Mon Petit Frere,
    Merry Christmas To You And Your Family. Throughout 2020, I May Have Gotten Under Your Skin Without Knowing It. But If I Actually Did, I Sincerely Apologize. I Know That You Are A Great Apologist And A Defender. That Being Said, I Have No Right To Get Under Your Skin.

    Be Blessed Buddy! May 2021 Bring All The Goodies To You And Your Family.

  8. Grand Frere

    I think I did not evade the point. I think I clearly elaborated on the point of unresourceful community colleges springing up in our country.
    Let me reiterate my point of view, NOT the ANC, on this issue of community colleges:
    – Since the central GOL controls everything in Liberia; from development to defense passing through health services and technology, we must STOP wasting precious resources on substandard community colleges. Let’s leave community colleges with missionaries (Church groups) and the private sector. Some good examples are CUC, AME Zion, etc.
    Why am I making this proposal? In case the Liberian people vote the abomination we currently have in the executive mansion, where there is no flair for economic planning and creativity or intuition to maintain such institutions, they will produce REBELS instead of development agents.
    The GOL should instead provide scholarships to students who cannot enter LU to enter private community colleges where they will receive standard and quality education.

    – However, we could have community colleges in major counties provided we had a decentralized system where each county will vote a governor (instead of superintendents) to oversee its development model. In so doing, an elected governor should have a clear economic platform based on which s/he is elected to serve the people.

    Grand Frere, read the article above again. A college opened in 2010 and then putting out its first graduates in 2020. According to the article, on several occasions, courses were suspended for 1 or 2 semesters. And you think those graduates proudly being exhibited are people of substance to contribute effectively to the economic growth of the country?
    Here again is a big hypocrisy to the poor children to whom they claim to give hope. And guess what? The GOL will NEVER give these graduates jobs, neither will the private sector. They will end up telling them do something for themselves, ‘don’t wait for government to give you job, create your own job’.

    Can anyone begin something serious with no experience or apprenticeship? And the finance, can a bank give you loan to undertake your small business if you are a novice to such business with no collaterals?
    These are some holistic problematic with our hypocritical community colleges in Liberia right now.

    Grand Frere, you live thousands of miles from Liberia and not usually informed of what goes on in every corner of Liberia. I live just next door and constantly interact with relatives and friends in the length and breadth of the country.

    We need a polytechnic in Liberia. If I were to get a voice within the ANC after our win in 2023, I will fight to ensure we commence the feasibility studies of a polytechnic in Central Liberia, specifically in Gbarnga, as of February 2024.
    I know you will ask why Gbarnga and not in Maryland or Nimba? Gbarnga will be ideal for the children of Liberia to travel from all corners of the country to a central point. In so doing, they discover their country and begin to dream creatively on how they can add their development quota.

    I want a Teacher’s College embedded within the University of Liberia. We want the University of Liberia to play its role to the fullest.
    In the Ivory Coast, no one enters a classroom to teach if you are not a graduate of a teacher’s training college (ENS for general education or IPNETP for technical education) embedded in the University of Cocody. In the same way, no one should enter a classroom if such person is not a graduate of a teacher’s training college to be embedded within the University of Liberia.

    I have no knowledge on the Fatima Teacher’s College you have evoked on two different occasions; you are informing me and so I will not comment on it. Equally so, I will not in any way compare that situation with the situation of the community colleges springing up in Liberia. Again, if I should have a dominant voice when the ANC takes over the country, we will close some of these mockeries out there. Stop fooling our children and stop creating social problems.

    EJS left booby traps for Weah! He has fallen into most of them, since he is power “aboo”. Weah will grope his way through the 6 years without seeing or realizing anything for Liberia. The most dangerous snarl he should avoid is printing new banknotes. We have enough on the market but hoarded by the people he lambasts daily. They have intentionally done that to punish him. He does have the education or the human resources to circumvent this booby trap.

    I hate violence; I hate any form of it. I will in no way threaten anyone or the peace of Liberia. I am only reminding CDCians to NEVER dream about smoking their weeds or drinking their cane juice for the slightest idea to cross their minds to rig the upcoming elections. They will regret it bitterly!
    We have a decent republican army, beware!

    Merry Christmas, Grand Frere!

  9. Grand Frere,

    In no way you have gotten under my skin. Let me instead confess that from our exchanges since October or November of 2019, I have created great respect and liking for you.
    You are indeed a Liberian I would love to see back home. Your presence in any sector will liven it up and give hope to your collaborators and the people.

    It’s me who should ask for your forgiveness in case I have offended you in any way. If I did, it must have been a mistake, but I will NEVER intentionally mean harm to you.

    May this difficult Christmas reinforce your faith in the Lord. May the coming of Jesus renew your strength to live longer to see your children and grandchildren and great grandchildren.

    Merry Christmas, Grand Frere!

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