Attorney Harris Fomba Tarnue, Principal of the Booker Washington Institute (BWI), over the weekend outlined what he described as the “existing state of affairs and accomplishments report” of the institute since he took over a year ago.
Tarnue’s report, entitled, “Highlights of Progress for the First Year of Service from January-December, 2016,” was presented at the institute’s Kakata campus before the entire teaching staff and other stakeholders.
According to him, BWI’s current enrollment stands at 1400, up from the previous number of students of 1361 prior to the time he took over last school year.
Mr. Tarnue took over as principal and CEO of BWI on January 6, 2016, for which he remains grateful to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the Board of Governors, the leadership and to Margibi County Legislative Caucus including those he described as “our very receptive national and international development partners.”
“We have engaged over 85 national and international development partners seeking technical assistance for BWI in the implementation of our strategic priorities,” Tarnue told his audience, who gave him a deafening applause.
According to Tarnue, his administration, since taking over, pronounced that God the Almighty was about to do new things at BWI and signalled to all members of the institute’s family to forget the old and unite to work towards excellence in Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET).
Mr. Tarnue recounted that in 2016, the BWI Board of Governors was reconstituted by President Sirleaf and indicated that the new board has since March remained responsive and committed to fulfilling its responsibilities in providing guidance, policy direction and working to ensure the sustainability of the institute.
He said under the year in review, his administration compiled and published a comprehensive policy manual incorporating finance, human resource, procurement, housing, and also revised the student handbook.
“Five of our staff from the General Building Trade Department attended a two-week construction seminar in the People’s Republic of China, while two of the staff benefited from in-service training in heavy duty equipment and hydraulics in South Africa with funding from UNIDO; seven staff in heavy equipment and hydraulics respectively,” Tarnue added.
In spite of those achievements, Mr. Tarnue said, all is not yet well at the institute, because the upgrading of the radio transmitter equipment to transform the previous amateur radio station (EL2 BWI) to a modern one, renovation of staff housing, the payment of retirees’ benefits, and also improving staff compensation in compliance with the New Descent Work Act were still unfulfilled.
Tarnue’s plan for 2017 is to increase the number of trades by adding solar energy technology, biomedical technician and expand the heavy equipment operator and maintenance program to reflect the school’s motto, “The Center for Excellence.”
The plan also involves increasing enterprise activities by focusing on agriculture production, especially commercial vegetable as well as poultry and intensifying his search for funding for tree crop production of cocoa and oil palm.
Tarnue said his administration will renovate staff housing, and the remaining trade shops that have not been repaired in several years. Improvements of the water system and student services to include dormitory facilities will also be undertaken, said Tarnue.