BWI Alumni Want Prez Sirleaf to Appoint Permanent Principal

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Alumni of the Booker Washington Institute (BWI) have sent a six-count position statement to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and the institute’s Board of Governors urging the nomination of a permanent principal for the school.

Currently BWI is run by a provisional administration and the mandate keeping that interim administration in office ends early next month.

The mandate for interim leadership of the school brought in Mr. Alexander Massey as principal about two years ago until a permanent principal is nominated by President Sirleaf and confirmed by the Board of Governors.

In a unanimous position statement adopted at a mass meeting recently, BWI alumni recommended that the position of principal be advertised to allow qualified Liberians to apply.

The Alumni Association is also suggesting that the Commission on Higher Education or an independent vetting committee, comprising seasoned educators be tasked with the responsibility of soliciting applications from Liberians to be vetted for the position.

It further recommended that being a BWI graduate is an added advantage in the process of finding a principal for the school.

The alumni association said its unanimous resolution is against the background that any person assuming the responsibility of running BWI, which has been earmarked as President Sirleaf’s Centre of Excellence, should be chosen from an array of the country’s best technocrats.

The BWI Alumni Association is also recommending that since the institute is being currently run by an interim administrator, all key appointments made at the school by the interim principal be considered part of the interim arrangement that ends on May 9.

The positions include Vice principal for Administration, Vice Principal for Instruction, Vice Principal for Student Services, Business Manager, Industrial Coordinator, Placement Coordinator, Chief Accountant and Maintenance Supervisor.

The association said it is not practical for an interim regime to appoint people to permanent positions.

“Once a permanent principal has been appointed through a rigorous vetting process,” the alumni association said, “the new principal can then nominate a list of other officials for confirmation by the school’s board in accordance with the charter creating BWI.”

The alumni association through its president, Jonathan Paye-Layleh, thanked President Sirleaf, who is chair and Ex-Officio of the BWI Board, for placing the school on her list of priorities and for announcing a ten million US dollar plan to make the school a centre of excellence.

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