Grand Gedeh County Chief Education Officer (CCEO) has underscored the importance of industrial education as a means to obtaining better paying jobs in Liberia.
CEO Harrison Darwolor made the remark recently at program that marked the graduation of 110 youth in Grand Gedeh County with skills in carpentry, masonry and cosmetology. They included 16 carpenters, 18 masons, 26 cosmetologists.
The graduation exercise is the conclusion of an initiative by IBIS-Liberia, aimed at empowering young people by providing job skills with focus on adolescent girls particularly in the Southeastern region.
“Today is another remarkable day for young people who have acquired industrial skills to be more efficient to our society. We have come to witness their entry into the global society from their past performance. For that, we want to express gratitude to IBIS-Liberia,” Mr. Darwolor said.
He said it is important for Liberians to study industrial and vocational courses, because the country is in need of professionals in those areas to support development initiatives.
“We have come to recognize the importance of much needed skills to develop the country, an idea which IBIS-Liberia has made possible,” said CEO Darwolor.
He challenged the graduates to undertake the task of nation building, adding, “We wholeheartedly depend on you to use the skills you acquired for the betterment of the country.
“Industrial education,” he said, “is one of the policies that bring development to any nation.”
Mr. Darwolor, further urged the graduates to set good examples to motivate and become role models for others who would want to follow their fine examples by taking up courses in the industrial education.
IBIS-Liberia Education for Youth Empowerment (EYE) program manager, Eusebio Rincon, said in his remarks that education and youth empowerment are IBIS’s key priorities.
The EYE project is a 10-month non-formal education program with three equally important components including literacy and numeracy with life skills training for disadvantaged youth.
EYE aims at responding to the education and training needs of illiterate and semi-literate youth.
Mr. Rincon said that back in 2005, IBIS together with partners WHH and Medica started to implement the Reintegration and Recovery Program in the Southeast with funding from the German government through KFW.
Morris W. Gbessagee, IBIS Governance Program Director, said the issue of youth development and employment was one of the critical components to education development.
He said IBIS-Liberia and partners including the government realized the need to address the challenge of youth underdevelopment and unemployment, and will continue to train and equip young people with employable skills.
He lauded the graduates for taking advantage of the opportunity IBIS-Liberia has provided to acquire knowledge and skills that would make them productive citizens.
IBIS, he said has worked in the country for a little over 11 years through its joint education and governance thematic programs. He said it will continue to support the development of the country in partnership with local and national civil society organizations to encourage and promote active citizens’ participation, representation and decision-making.