Tolbert Nyenswah, Director General of the National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL), has extolled the administration of the University of Liberia (UL) for embracing its responsibility by focusing on critical areas in the country’s development.
While extolling the UL administration, Nyenswah called on the government to lean on the expertise of Liberian technocrats and scholars to move the country forward.
Mr. Nyenswah commended the government for “placing education at the peak of its Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development, urging Liberians to rally around the government for the good of the country.”
“This pillar clearly states as goal number one: to empower Liberians with tools to gain control of their lives through more equitable provision of opportunities in education, health, youth development, and social project,” Nyenswah said when he served as a commencement speaker at the T.J.R. College of Science and Technology.
He lauded the graduates for their fortitude and expressed the hope that they will make significant contributions to move the country forward in the areas of science, technology, and research, “because a scientifically unsophisticated society leads to poor quality in all sectors.’
Nyenswah spoke on the theme, “The Role of Science and Technology in National Development.”
“Tomorrow’s world is about thinking ahead, creativity, technology, entrepreneurship, and innovation. These are important facts that should be easily recognizable benchmarks of educated persons,” he said.
He said that developing a nation requires much more human development index and the capacity to be at a much higher level, because educated Liberians are needed to drive the development of the country.
Mr. Nyenswah praised this year’s graduates as the nation’s greatest assets desirous of support as they endeavor to further their studies in order to make an impact on the global stage.
He commended the college for its immense contribution in the lives of individual families and Liberia at large in the field of the sciences.
“It is satisfying to know that the state university can now train young Liberians in the field of prevention and contribute more to health outcomes,” Nyenswah noted, explaining that the cultivation and facilitation of science and technology to foster infrastructural development to boost the economy is cardinal.
Convening the third-day convocation of the UL college-based graduation, the Dean of the College, Dr. Peter S. Humphrey, applauded his faculty for their selfless approach to duty in the preparation of students.
Dr. Humphrey charged the graduates to see themselves as valuable assets that could positively impact the economy of the country.
During the commencement, a total of 386 students received diplomas; 293 in Biological Sciences, 43 in Chemistry, 12 in Mathematics, two in Physics, 23 in Nursing, and eight in Midwifery.
A total number of 191 females graduated compared to 195 males. This has continued a trend that began a few years ago, which showed a significant shrinking of the male and female graduation gap, and now places the T.J.R. College of Science and Technology in a position to become the first college at the university where women could surpass men in terms of graduation.
Dr. Humphery, who paid tribute to the founder of the Science College, said the University of Liberia’s College of Science and Technology will only mount, considering the man in whose honor the college was named.
“He was born in North Carolina in 1869; Thomas Jefferson Richelieu Faulkner was a scholar in the field of engineering. He is credited to be the first person to introduce electricity, telephone and the ice factory in Liberia. As a public figure, he also served as Monrovia City Mayor. This is the man the president of the University of Liberia (UL) is urging graduates of the College to emulate,” Dr. Humphery said.
In her routine special greetings to attendants and graduates, UL President, Dr. Ophelia Inez Weeks, disclosed that plans have been approved to add a Computer Science, Information and Communication Technology division to the College of Science and Technology, because UL has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Obafemi Awolowo University in Nigeria, in order to provide support for this latest development at the state-run university.
She implored the government and other partners for the requisite support to make the approved plan a reality, noting that science and technology are critical drivers for the development of any country.
The valedictorian, Julian Cooke, encouraged his peers to live the motto of the university with integrity so as to bring dignity to themselves and the UL family.
Mr. Cooke, a product of the Biology Department, reflected on the rigors of learning he endured at UL and challenged students of the state-run university not to be deterred by the challenges they face during their academic sojourn.