Cllr. Oswald N. Tweh, Managing Director of Pierre, Tweh and Associates, Incorporated, a law firm in Monrovia, has warned of ‘education piracy’ that often leads to problems in the country.
Cllr. Tweh warning was contained in his speech delivered on Saturday, July 30 at Cuttington University’s 55th Commencement Convocation held at the university’s main campus in Suakoko, near Gbarnga, Bong County.
“In our world of short morals and integrity, the importance of honorable and ethical conduct without regards to ethical obligations and standards is like piracy that often leads to lots of problems, some of which are very prevalent in our society,” Cllr. Tweh told the 721 CU graduates.
According to the lawyer, the same can be said of the lack of ethics in the professional life of anyone, irrespective of career, profession or vocation.
Based on that, Cllr. Tweh cautioned each of the graduates to take serious their respective ethical obligations in dealing with others, and to ensure that their word remains their bond.
“Know that your position within society will rise in direct proportion to the quality of your work, and the way in which you conduct yourself. Let your actions serve as an example to everyone,” Cllr. Tweh urged the applauding graduates.
Tweh also emphasized the need for discipline and integrity, “Because without either of them, it is impossible to succeed in an honorable and durable way.”
He observed that it is true that some may ‘succeed’ without integrity or discipline, but such ‘success’ is almost always dishonorable and at the cost of damaging one’s own name or that of his/her family’s; “moreover, it could lead to injury to others, or to the shedding of their blood.”
As a CU alumnus, Tweh is of the conviction that only success achieved honorably – and with discipline – is worthy of the admiration and respect that society and history bestow.
“Notwithstanding their utmost importance,” Cllr. Tweh said, “discipline and integrity are two life-building and enriching dynamics that are in short supply in a modern world in which the search for material things, free living, and alternative lifestyles are challenging traditional moral values and threatening our existence as a cohesive society.”
Even in Liberia, he said, everyone (young and old) is in a craze in the quest, albeit the race, for wealth, fame and freedom.
According to Cllr. Tweh, wealth is pursued by many at the cost of their character and integrity, “because, so many allow themselves to be tempted, giving in to shameful acts such as theft…”
Tweh also observed that the pursuit of freedom by young people, on the other hand, has meant rebellion against all forms of social control. This includes rejecting parental control, discipline at school, and sometimes even general disdain for law and public authority.
He said in some cases, it has led to the use of violence, adding that the race for wealth, fame and unbridled freedom has eroded discipline in our families, communities, schools and society.
“It has also undermined our individual and collective sense of decency and integrity,” he added.
He said what is even more troubling is that some of the graduates will be captivated and begin to emulate the so-called ‘success’ – that almost never lasts – of individuals openly engaged in some of the most despicable, undisciplined and indecent behaviors.
Of the graduates, 308 came from the Graduate School and Professional Studies, 385 from the Undergraduate Program, while 28 of them came from the Junior College in Kakata, Margibi County.
Prior to the holding of Saturday’s convocation, a special ceremony marking the official end of Dr. Evelyn Kandakai’s interim presidency of Cuttington (November 2015 – July 2016) was held at the college campus in Suakoko, where she formally turned over authority to the incoming president, Rev. Dr. Herman Browne, former Dean of Trinity Cathedral.
Saturday’s ceremony brought together several high profile individuals, among them the CU Board of Trustees and some lawmakers of the 53rd Legislature.