High school graduates of the Diversified Skills Training Academy have been urged to make the best use of what they have acquired during their primary school years to make their lives and nation better. Serving as the keynote speaker at the 16th commencement of the institution, which mixes academic and vocational training, Reverend Tunde J. Spencer, admonished the students that as they leave the walls of the school for the world, they are to use the skills and knowledge they have acquired to start making ends meet.
Rev. Tunde J. Spencer urging Diversified graduates to use the skills and knowledge they have acquired to make their lives and nation betterSpeaking on the theme ‘Utilizing What’s in Your Hands,’ Rev. Spencer, who is the proprietor and founder of the institution, which runs the school and a church —Diversified Christian Ministries International — in Paynesville City’s Soul Clinic Community, admonished the students not to be “money conscious,” and that they can begin to use their hands by starting with volunteering their services.
“You all need to begin to volunteer in your communities. Do not put money first. Money will definitely come when you set your priorities right. Liberia right now needs good volunteers as there are many tasks to be done in order to set the nation on the right trajectory,” added Rev. Spencer, who is also the counselor for political affairs at the Liberian Embassy in Abuja, Nigeria.
“I also applaud our graduating students for being studious enough to meet the required academic challenges. The only way to achieve success in life is through work and we are proud to witness the results of your hard work today,” he said.
He delivered his remarks recently when the school graduated 22 students, including 16 female teens. He thanked parents and the Soul Clinic Community at large for their confidence in the school’s administration as they strive to meet the educational needs of their children.
Spencer stressed to the audience and graduates who will be casting their ballots in October, when Liberians vote for a president and 73 lawmakers, not to be carried away by just what their candidates say. “Look at them; listen to them very carefully. How have they been running their homes, treating their families, their communities and their social circles? Leadership starts from the home and not at the political parties or in the Executive Mansion,” he stressed, adding that Liberians should look for family values in their candidates before they vote for them.
Stephen Quennah, the graduating class valedictorian, stated that it is unfortunate Liberians are more focused on politics than on education, “and this is not helpful to the young people and the future of the country.” Mr. Quennah hopes to become an agriculturist after college.
In an exclusive interview, Rev. Spencer said being the sole sponsor of the school “has not been a small challenge,” adding that the highest fees at the 12th grade level is a minimum of L$6,000 (about US$52) for the entire academic year. “The school presently has about 400 students from kindergarten to 12the grade,” he stated.
Spencer disclosed that for the last several months, the school has temporarily halted its computer training program because former trainers stole very important components that have not been replaced.
“But the soap-making and tailoring programs are going on well. Our students are equipped with these skills when they step out of our walls,” Rev. Spencer stated.
Since Spencer is not based in Liberia, but at the Liberian Embassy in Abuja, the school is currently run by Q. Augustus Bannie, who serves as principal. He is Spencer’s younger brother and a graduate of the University of Liberia who once taught at the Haywood Mission School in Monrovia.