The director-general of National Commission on Higher Education (NCHE), Dr. Michael P. Slawon, has disclosed plans by authorities of the United Methodist University (UMU) to offer Master’s degree in Divinity.
At the UMU’s eleventh graduation Commencement Convocation held at the Unity Conference Center in Virginia, outside Monrovia yesterday, Dr. Slawon hailed members of the graduating class, parents, guardians and instructors, whom he said had worked hard to ensure that the program succeeded.
Dr. Slawon said prior to the approval of such a program at the UMU, the university held series of conversations with the government through the Commission to offer Master’s degrees, but only in divinity.
As such, he said he was therefore pleased to announce the positive result of the process, which means beginning next academic semester, UMU will offer Master’s degree, but restricted to the area of divinity.
To the graduates, he informed that that Liberia needs competent people for the job market, which he believes UMU has given to the 551 graduates.
“You have been given a solid start, but you must be committed and work hard to be more successful,” he told them.
He then urged the graduates to build on the competence they have developed and or achieved at the UMU and work hard to stay in the game of life challenging them to do their best individually.
Earlier, commencement speaker, Cllr. Gloria M. Musu-Scott, urged the graduating class of 2013/2014 to be a true reconciler.
According to her, a true reconciler faces and accepts the truth and urged them to consider their first degree as the first assignment they will take with them into the larger society.
“A true reconciler,” she explained, “reassures and strengthens challenges society faces with in the light of unity and development,” she said.
She said a reconciler does not rejoice over weaknesses or disadvantages and does not interpret the act of reconciliation as a weakness but an opportunity to exploit and gain advantage.
According to her, if the graduates will benefit from their struggle to gain an education, they must take deliberate and concrete steps within their sphere to reconcile.
“It is only through our sense of right and wrong decision as a people that helps us to reconcile and move forward in peace and prosperity, and begins to end impunity and hold individuals accountable for any acts of violence,” Cllr. Musu-Scott said.
“Our national experiences have taught us that the use of violence and big guns or the capacity to rain violence and obtain big guns produces no winners. All Liberians and Liberia have lost in this circle of violence and show of strength, since the 1800s no one has won,” the former Chief Justice noted.
For his part, the president of UMU, Rev/Dr. Emmanuel Fitzgerald Bailey, said the past academic year was eventful and challenging, but gave God the glory for carrying them through.
According to him, the 551 students were graduating after the enrollment of the 2010 was 4159, with the female numbering over 60 percent.
He hailed the instructors, students, parents and guardians for their outstanding efforts in the years under review and named several students who performed “Excellently.”
UMU, like any other institutions, suspended academic activities last year following the Ebola outbreak.