The Young Men Christian Association (YMCA) computer training program has graduated 450 young people in various computer skills.
The five-month training provided courses in Introduction to Computer, Microsoft Office, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint; Microsoft Publisher, Microsoft Access, Print Artist, Corel Draw, and Web Designs. The Center runs program for Beginners, Intermediate and Advance levels.
The graduation ceremony, which was held on March 16, marked the 26th cycle of the program.
Decontee George, Coordinator of the YMCA IT Center, acknowledged the work of the Training Staff and the YMCA’s National Secretariat of Liberia for the level of support to the 26th Cycle.
Ms George named the refurbishing of the Computer Laboratory and provision of new computers by the YMCA management as some of the achievements at the center.
The keynote speaker, Cllr. Finley Karngar, challenged the graduates to go out and contribute towards the country’s development.
Karngar’s address centered around the theme “Building a Computer Literate Youth Populace to Contribute to Liberia’s Development Agenda.”
He told the graduates that computer knowledge enhances one’s ability to find out and learn more things in the digital world, noting: “You will be surprised to know how computer education works effectively when put it into practice to enhance your daily interactions as well as improve one’s reading skills.”
The lawyer observed that many parents have over the years preferred their children acquire university education as opposed to acquiring computer skills. However he said “While it is true that university education is very important, it is not the only means to develop a country.”
E. Timotheus Kamaboakai, YMCA National General Secretary of the Liberia, told the trainees that to acquire computer knowledge is a pathway to other heights.
He added: “Your knowledge and skills may get you a job, but it is your attitude that will keep you on the job.”
“Are you respecting other people, are you understanding, do you have integrity?” Kamaboakai asked.
“Even with the certificate and degree, and without the right attitude, you may not be able to stay or excel in any job,” he told the graduates.
Mr. Kamaboakai then congratulated the trainees and training staff for a job well done.
The Chairman of the National Board of the Liberia YMCA, Lester M. Paye, who presented certificates to the trainees, asked each to make good use of the skills they acquired.
The YMCA Computer Training Program was established in November 2004, with the aim of providing computer and Internet skills to the young people of Liberia. Since the establishment of the program, more than 11,800 youth and adults have benefited from the training. 53 percent of these are females and 47 percent are males.
At present, many of the beneficiaries are working with public and private entities, while some have founded their own desktop publishing centers.