A member of the Booker Washington Institute (BWI) Class of 1980 has made a “constructive and comprehensive” appeal to the government, the Board of Trustee and the Alumni Association to graduate the institution from a technical high school to university status before 2017.
Dr. Amos M.D. Sirleaf, a lecturer at the University of Liberia, said although many stakeholders have in the past made similar appeals on behalf of BWI, he believes it is now necessary to turn the institution to a full-fledged degree granting university like any of the universities across the country.
Dr. Sirleaf made the appeal in his keynote address during BWI’s 87th Founder’s Day Anniversary program over the weekend in Kakata, Margibi County, under the theme: “A New Beginning towards a Center of Excellence.”
“The greatest thing in this world is not so much about where we stand, but a commitment to strive for a way forward. By that, I believe BWI is ready to move from a struggling and pessimistic past to the direction of a new beginning as a center of excellence,” Dr. Sirleaf declared.
The teaching and learning systems and research methodologies and environment, like the world, are shifting to a competitive technological global environment, he said.
Therefore the government should adapt to the changing situations as far as technology and learning are concerned to match BWI’s curriculum to university standard.
“I believe that our academic environment and curriculum must be structured in accordance with our contemporary changing environment to include bringing technology to the classroom. This will effectively expose the students to the technological and cultural diversity to contribute positively to our multi-cultural, ethnic, gender and youth learning environment,” said Dr. Sirleaf.
In his Anniversary Day message, BWI’s new Principal and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Harry F. Tarnue said, “…There is unanimous agreement in turning the institution into a model of excellence for technical, vocational and education training/TVET in the country.”
According to Mr. Tarnue, this is a process that requires partnership and the total involvement of all stakeholders, including the students.
“While we set our vision and envisage a desired state of excellence, we realize that it is a process that requires a defined strategy that will move the institute to the center of excellence,” Mr. Tarnue said.
He added: “For us, the foremost strategy as a thrust for this process is public engagement coupled with definite and purposeful actions set out in our five point strategic priorities for driving our vision.”
This year’s Founders’ Day activities began on Friday June 24 with the dedication of several projects carried out in the various communities of Kakata.
The projects included a huge garbage disposal pit which BWI constructed in the courtyard of C.H. Rennie Hospital for the dumping of nonessential medical wastes and the dedication of a culvert at the Margibi County Administration Building.
The Institute’s community outreach initiatives also included a donation of two bags of rice and a few bags of vegetables to the Children’s Future Home Orphanage and three sets of benches to the Kakata Central Prison.
Before handing the projects over to the beneficiaries, Mr. Tarnue said the gestures were BWI’s own way of giving back to the communities for their continuous support to the upkeep of the institution.
All the beneficiaries, including Margibi County Superintendent John Z. Buway and C.H. Hospital Administrator Raymond R. Cassell, expressed gratitude to the Harry F. Tarnue-led administration for being farsighted by including the communities in this year’s activities.