President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has given US$16,780 to 750 graduates of the Monrovia Vocational Training Center (MVTC) to express how impressed she was about their achievements in several technical and vocational training professions.
She gave out the cash prizes on Saturday, June 27, during the 10th graduation exercise of MVTC.
The President gave the over-all dux of the entire class, Dogba Kollie – US$200 as “cash of appreciation” for his achievement under the tough, 18 month training program.
The amount of US$100 was given to each of the 20 students who were certificated for “excellent performance.”
The remaining students, 729 of them, were given US$20 each also to appreciate their efforts.
This is the first time since the outbreak and eradication of the Ebola virus that the President has dished out such an amount of money to graduates.
The President’s appreciation of the students was buttressed by Madam Cyvette Gibson, the Mayor of Paynesville City Corporation (PCC) with the immediate employment of Dogba Kollie, an auto mechanic technician, and Madam Otilla Nimely, the only female and one of the duxes of the air-condition and refrigerator department.
President Sirleaf expressed thanks and appreciation to the management and staff of MVTC and donors for the improvement thus far.
“I am happy for you all – technocrats, because before I became a politician, I was once a technocrat,” the President said to a round of applause from the audience.
“I am only disappointed on the low enrollment of females and I hope the Minister of Gender and Children Protection and Social Welfare will strategize for more women to attend the MVTC.
Well done, well done,” the President waved and smiled.
According to statistics, out of the 750 graduates, 664 students or 89% are males, while 86 students, 11%, are females.
The statistics further indicated that in three departments- mechanical, building trades and electrical, there were more students in the electrical department, followed by mechanical and building trades.
The keynote speaker, Madam Sheila Paskman, called the predominantly male graduates – as the fabulous future leaders of the country.
On behalf of US Ambassador Deborah Malac, the Deputy US Ambassador said the graduates are essential in the building of the country’s social and economic fabric.
She urged them to be innovative to serve as agents of change.