— Describe him as a humanitarian, whose dream was to see an educated Nimba, Liberia
The citizens of Nimba County on Saturday, November 21, 2020 paid homage to their fallen brother, son, friend, uncle and astute educator, Dr. Joseph D. Z. Korto, who was laid to rest in the provincial city of Sanniquellie, Nimba.
In tributes from sympathizers, the late Dr. Korto was described as a humanitarian and one who lived by his dream, which was to see Nimbaians as well as the nation educated. Remembered by many Nimbaians as a mentor and role model in the education system of the county, some old classmates and friends are demanding that a statue be erected in his memory.
“He was a real competitor as a student of the St. Mary Catholic School in Sanniquellie,” Mr. Yarsuo Wehyee Dorliea recalls.
“He was one who was down to earth and never distinguished anyone based on tribe, creed or location,” Dr. Frederick Norkeh said.
The 54th Nimba Legislative Caucus, headed by Senator Prince Y. Johnson in their tributes, recounted many of Dr. Korto’s legacies and promised to meet the family afterward.
Chief Justice, Francis Korkpor, also a son of Nimba and a former schoolmate of the deceased, recalled how the late Korto was very brilliant among them in 1969 and topped the 9th grade WAEC exams.
Minister Ansu Sonii praised the late Korto for his many contributions to the Liberian Education sector, especially policies that are impacting the education system currently.
The late Dr. Korto was one of the Nimbaians, who served Nimba’s Education System so immensely, raging from classroom teacher to the position of County Education Officer of Nimba and later to Minister of Education under the regime of former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the last public position he served before meeting his demise this year.
After leaving public service, Dr. Korto continued his contribution to the education system of Nimba. He is on record for contributing several sets of computers to the Nimba County Community College (now Nimba County University) prior to the 2017 general elections.
Under his administration as Minister of Education, community colleges were established in the rural parts of Liberia and free and compulsory primary education was introduced.
The late Dr. Korto contested the 2005 presidential election on the Liberia Equal Rights Party and lost to Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, coming third in that election. After that election, she named him Minister of Education, where he served from 2006 to 2009.
In 2014, he contested the special senatorial election and lost to Senator Prince Y. Johnson. Thereafter, he did not partake in any political activity until his death in Newark, Delaware in the USA on June 22, 2020 due to unspecified illness.
Dr. Joseph D. Z. Korto is was born in Barpa, a little town near Yekepa in the Yarmin Administrative District, Nimba County.