The debate about the empowerment of women is on the rise everywhere in the world in all dimensions -- economic, political, social and moral. Among the empowering opportunities of paramount concern in contemporary age is education, the one that feminists and other gender equity advocates have always blamed the African patriarchal system for leaving women below the ladder.
According to UNESCO estimates, around the world, 132 million girls are out of school, including 34.3 million of primary school age, 30 million of lower-secondary school age, and 67.4 million of upper-secondary school age.
On Monday, August 2, 2021, Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor was appreciated by one of Liberia's reputable schools, Ricks Institute, for reaching out to bridge the gender gap in female education through her moral and financial support.
In a release, the Administration of the Ricks Institute in Virginia, outside Monrovia, hailed Vice President Howard-Taylor for her great efforts in leading the cause for female education in Liberia.
“The Administration particularly recognizes the effort of the Jewel Starfish Foundation under the sponsorship of Madam Vice President for the on-going initiative meant to train young female leaders at several academic institutions including the Ricks Institute,” the release said.
“The Vice President, through her foundation and other partners, a year ago awarded scholarships to 13 girls to attend the Ricks Institute in Virginia until they can complete their high school education.”
The boarding school in a Special statement under the signature of its acting Principal believes that the Vice President, who is “very passionate” about girls’ education, will do everything in her capacity to ensure that beneficiaries of her goodwill gesture get the best of education if supported.
The Acting Principal of Ricks Institute, Mr. Klahn-Gboloh Jarbah, also praised the Vice President for always taking time out to visit the institution to ascertain the welfare of the kids and regularly attend academic activities hosted by the institution.
The statement acknowledges that this attribute exhibited by the Liberian first female Vice President demonstrates her strong desire not only to educate young females but to develop them into great women leaders.
“The Ricks Institute therefore expresses its gratitude to the Vice President while encouraging her to continue to play such a motherly role in the best interest of the country and its people. The school wishes that the Vice President and Partners will continue to achieve greater progress and prosperity and look forward to further strengthening the friendship and cooperation between the school and her office,” the statement indicated.
The school added that the Vice President and the current government, under the leadership of President George M. Weah, will continue to explore an educational development path that suits the national conditions and accelerates its modernization.
Meanwhile, Mr. Jarbah, who has had his tour of experience in central government -- the Ministry of Education and the Central Bank of Liberia, has assured that, beginning next academic year, vocational technical education programs will be introduced as part of the school’s vision to effect the appropriate modification to its curriculum. Mr. Jarbah named courses to be offered as PROFESSIONAL NURSING, AGRICULTURE, MANAGEMENT AND ADMINISTRATION, COMPUTER APPLICATIONS, and FINANCIAL ACCOUNTING AND HOSPITALITY MANAGEMENT.
According to him, the vocational component will be a three-year program for 10th to 12th grade with the objective of preparing the students of those classes for the labor market. Ricks Institute, an academic school from Kindergarten to 12th Grade, is a faith-based institution for the Liberia Baptist Missionary and Educational Convention, Inc (LBMEC).
According to its motto, the School seeks to achieve distinction throughout Liberia and beyond in offering a balanced and integrated education of the head, heart, and hands, by providing its students with a firm foundation for life and the inspiration to serve others.