A Financier of US$2 million re-furbished Sinje Technical and Vocational College of the University of Liberia (UL) said he is compelled to support quality education in the country.
David A. Straz, Liberia Honorary Consul At-Large to the United States of America (USA), whose name the college bore, said his major priority was for former combatants and underprivileged students to get access to sound and free education especially in Grand Cape Mount County where the college is situated.
Mr. Straz gave the assurance on Saturday, July 30, when he along with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf toured the facilities.
Established in 2010, the college offers Associate Degree (AA) in agriculture, engineering and education.
He said, with the understanding of both President Sirleaf and UL President Dr. Emmet Dennis, students who will graduate from the college would have easy access to enter the university main program.
“We agreed that graduates from the college would straightly enter the university to complete their remaining two years study to get a full bachelor’s degree,” he disclosed.
“I have interest in higher education; this is why I informed President that I would like to do something for Liberians,” Straz explained.
According to Straz, his first support was the renovation of the College of West Africa (CWA) building in Monrovia.
After that, he said, President Sirleaf took him to Grand Cape Mount County to see whether he would help to renovate Sinje Technical and Vocational College, which he agreed and did.
“We went there and I looked at the facility it was completely damaged, so I assured her that I was interested to get the college started,” he explained.
It was from that time, he said, he got in contact with the Chinese Embassy that also got in contact with a Chinese Construction Company to do the renovation works at Sinje.
According to him, the college lacked facilities such as electrical and mechanical laboratories and lab for the sciences.
He assured that he would be back into the country to attend the college first graduation exercise schedule for December of this year.
“I will be back in December to witness the first graduation to congratulate the graduates of the David A. Straz College,” he said.
Talking about the country’s political situation, Mr. Straz said he would be hopeful if those who would be elected in 2017 will continue all of what he described as “good things being done by President Sirleaf to move Liberia forward.”
In her intervention, President Sirleaf described Straz as a true friend of Liberia and promised that it was her government’s time to do its part to support the college.