Wants to also abolish “unnecessary by-elections”
Bong County Senator Dr. Henrique Tokpa has promised he will lobby with his colleagues and the Executive to create the Ministry of Higher and Technical Education with the sole responsibilities of managing and supervising higher and tertiary education in Liberia.
Sen. Tokpa, a seasoned Liberian academic and former president of Cuttington University, said the benefits for the creation of this institution will be huge because the traditional Ministry of Education will only supervise and manage early Childhood, Special Education, Teacher Training, primary and secondary education.
According to him, when created, the proposed Ministry of Higher and Technical Education will strive to separate the vocational and technical components of the Ministry of Youth and Sports from the Ministry of Education.
Presenting his legislative report to his constituents in Gbarnga, Bong County, Sen. Tokpa said there are plans to seek the full completion of the construction of the Bong County Technical College, and the re-launch of the dux scholarship for all high schools in Bong County, something he said he did successfully as President of Cuttington University for 13 years.
“We also intend to seek the completion of the E.J. Yancy High School in Totota, Salala District; Reading Room for Nyofarkolie High School, Zowienta, Kpaai District, among several others.”
He also named financial aid, the provision of local and international scholarships to various groupings, and students hailing from the county. “We have two persons at the University of Philippines who have graduated with Masters’ degrees waiting to return and start to contribute to the development programs of Bong County,” Senator Tokpa intimated.
According to him, about five hundred students are benefiting from his local scholarship program attending various universities, high schools, and other professional institutions. “We have also assisted so many of our youths with financial assistance to go to school across the County and other parts of Liberia” he disclosed.
In his report to the citizens, Senator Tokpa named the construction of clinics, town halls, hand pumps, bridges, among others in several towns and villages across the county, as projects identified by his office and implemented through the County and Social Development Funds by the County Administration in the 2018/2019 fiscal year.
Senator Tokpa also disclosed plans to introduce bills to abolish unnecessary by-elections in the country, to create the National Disaster Trust Fund, and the construction of a Maternity Waiting Home in Bong Mines, Fuamah District. He said his office has provided loans to several women groups, and made financial interventions towards projects undertaken by various groupings throughout the county.
According to Sen. Tokpa, the vices of division and conflict, coupled with the national economic hardship hinder development and unity in his county and the country as a whole. He cautioned citizens and residents to do away with those vices that have the propensity to undermine the forward march of the county and the country.
He asserted that people can have their differences, political alignments, but such political affiliation should not turn them into enemies, noting that elections will come and go, but they will remain as citizens.
He has however, assured Bong citizens that he will continue to lobby with his fellow legislators, the Executive branch, as well as his kinsmen in and out of Liberia, to foster development in the county.
He lauded the citizens for their support and prayers for him since his election as Senator in 2018 and re-assured them of his unwavering commitment to the numerous promises made to them during the campaign period. “Our office welcomes any and all recommendations that would make our work easier and move our county forward; All of what we have achieved so far with our own resources would not have been possible without your love, prayers and supports.” Senator Tokpa concluded. Meanwhile, some of the citizens who made remarks during the program commended the Senator for reporting to them and urged him to continue his good work. They also cautioned him to always make use of the media to promote his programs and projects in the county. According to them, they cannot and will not be present at all of his activities, but they can be informed through the media, something the Senator acknowledged and promised to work on.