The Consolidated Group Incorporated (CGI), service provider of DSTV in Liberia and the National Commission on Higher Education (NCHE) on Wednesday, April 21, signed a three- year memorandum of understanding (MOU) to support inter-university debate among students, especially at the first degree level.
The ceremony which took place at the NCHE office located at S.D. Cooper Road in Paynesville, outside Monrovia, was graced by staff of the CGI, USAID representative and a host of NCHE employees.
Rev. James Andrew Lablah, acting Director General of the NCHE, said the MOU is very essential because it will add value to several institutions.
“This is NCHE’s project, which is sponsored by them (DSTV), and we look forward to engaging with other partners who will help us do this work. It will contribute to the national development agenda of Liberia,” he indicated.
Rev. Lablah further disclosed that the inter-university debate will help students get involved in research that will develop their intellectual abilities and as well as their faculties that will prepare them for the competition.
“This is not the first time that DSTV or Consolidated Group Incorporated has done such. About ten (10) years ago, the Consolidated Group did inter-continental debates sponsorship with the NCHE being the implementer and universities participated.
“So, at this time it is timely enough that they have come again to continue what they started initially,” he said.
The acting NCHE Director said: “While we see this is important, we also know that they are many other areas that the commission of higher education will like to partnership or establish a partnership with other institutions sponsor some of its programs.”
According to him, part of the NCHE plan for quality education in the country is to share with others for sponsorship which will require them having education stakeholders’ conference wherein a lot of issues will be addressed and, “This will call the attention for drawing a roadmap of higher education in Liberia.”
Rev. Lablah said: “We will also be looking at curriculum harmonization, especially for special programs. We will be looking at faculty development because where faculty is developed in the area of research and teaching it will help the output of quality. We are looking at having a PhD program in Liberia.”
He noted that Liberia is an old country but “We see that we don’t have any PhD program at all; we will need such sponsorship that will develop our faculty in the area of instruction and research.”
He lauded the management and CEO of the Consolidated Group Incorporated in Liberia for taking interest in the NCHE.
For his part, Simeon Freeman, chief executive officer of CGI or DSTV Liberia commended the NCHE for the level of work done to ensure that Liberia has the best universities.
He said right now in Liberia all you heard is just politics but now, this MOU will create a whole new focus where people can talk about issues that matter in the educational space.
“We have mindset line on the DSTV platform, we have national geographic channel. We also have investigation coverage curiosity and all these difference channels are all pointed to providing detail education that is needed within the public space.
“We first sponsored this along with Ecobank ten years ago. This time, we are doing it over the next three years period,” he recalled.
He added that in order to change that, a lot needs to be done not just by us Liberians themselves or USAID, but other NGOs or private company should work with the NCHE because every policy infrastructure needs reform.
“It is our hope that what we have begun from the DSTV Consolidated standpoint will be picked up by other institutions because we need to elevate education to a higher level,” he said.
“All around the world they will tell you these number of universities are among the first ten or 20 and even for high school. We think this debate infrastructure will help the NCHE and the public rate universities, especially where one is selected as the winner.
“We also think it help change public policies; the NCHE has done a great job by developing a concept note and nominating topics,” he concluded.