The challenges that affect the progress of the country should not dampen the determination of Liberians to ensure the sustainability of the government’s investment in infrastructure and education, according to Dr. Zobong Norman, President of the Bomi County Community College (BCCC).
Speaking yesterday after he was awarded the ‘Outstanding President of the Year’ award by Africa Watch newspaper in Monrovia, Dr. Norman said Liberian community colleges have reached a ‘revolution phase’ in their development.
“We have overcome difficulties in acquiring qualified staff, enlarged and acquired additional resources, including computers, and for the first time BCCC has purchased a 50KVA generator to ensure academic progress,” he said.
He said BCCC has also purchased a 15-seater Toyota bus that serves both nursing and agriculture students. “For the first time BCCC has purchased a vehicle for its vice president for administration,” he said.
Dr. Norman believes that success at any community college would require collaboration between stakeholders, including the administration, Board of Directors, students, and the local community.
Expressing appreciation to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf for appointing him head of the BCCC – which offers him the opportunity to make his contribution to the development of graduates that would join the rebuilding of the country – Norman said the establishment of community colleges is a significant move by the government for Liberians to sustain.
Stressing that sustaining community colleges is a national priority, Dr. Norman noted that it would only be successful when resources from communities where they are located are mobilized for their support.
“We must look within the communities to tap resources to achieve the goals we have set for our community colleges,” he said.
On the award, he expressed gratitude to the management of Africa Watch newspaper, “because we know that people are watching what we do to grow students that would eventually join the workforce in our country’s rebuilding.”
He vowed to “continue the journey that started a year ago,” and commended members of his administration, BCCC students and the people of Tubmanburg, Bomi County, for their positive collaboration.
The Bomi County Community College (BCCC) – Liberia’s first community college – was established in 2005, but due to internal wrangling and shortsightedness, the institution failed to complete an academic year after its opening. Accordingly, the college’s nursing program was cancelled by the Liberia Nursing & Midwifery Board.
The college regained its lost privilege following the appointment of Dr. Norman, whose leadership has put the college on good footing. His administration has extended its Nursing Demonstration Lab and has installed 24,000 BTU air conditioners, among others.