The Standard Bearer of Liberia’s oldest opposition political party, the United People’s Party (UPP) has assured students of the nation’s highest institution of learning, the University of Liberia that under the leadership of the UPP the country’s educational system will provide those who have academically achieve their to be given what he called “ an employable skills for the jobs market”.
Addressing members of the Student Integration Movement (SIM) during the program marking the induction of their newly elected officials on the campus of the University, Mr. MacDonald A Wento who dramatically thrown out the usual student battle cry at the admiration of the students themselves noted that Liberian people over the years have been craving for an education that will give them employable skills to compete to leadership, but due lack of willpower on the part of successive governments their dreams were always dashed.
The occasion which drew hundreds of students saw the induction of the new leadership of SIM by Mr. Sando Wyne.
Those inducted including Henry Darbee Blamah as Chairman, Orando Saah Fallah; Co-Chairman for Administration, Albert S. Doe; Co-Chair for political Affairs, Hasting G. Gbarmon; Co-Chair for Mobilization and Recruitment, Gilbert N. Lewis; General Secretary, Bill M. Quayeson; Assistant Secretary General and Propaganda among others.
The UPP political leader said the Liberian people want a Government that will operate in transparency and with accountability, and also want a functional, effective and fair justice system, stressing, “The people want food security to ensure that the nation remains healthy. The want political stability and harmony so that everyone is secured,” Mr. Wento amid applauds and political battle cries noted.
Below is the full text of Mr. Wanto’s speech delivered at the program:
Mr. Chairman of the student Integration Movement, SIM and officials;
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen:
Thanks for the invitation to speak at the 30th anniversary of your student based political party on campus. For thirty (30) plus years, you have built strong leaders and provided a forum for dissenting opinion in student leadership. We commend you for your endurance and we wish you the blessings of eternity in student leadership. Congratulations and as you move into national life, we welcome you and all other students to a national political life in the United People’s Party.
The Liberian people want an education that gives them employable skills to compete for jobs with rising income. They want a Government that will operate in transparency and with accountability. The people want a functional, effective and fair justice system. They want food security to ensure that the nation remains healthy. They want political stability and harmony so that everyone is secured. However, our schools are not doing enough to help us enjoy these benefits and our public policy response has been weak. Our schools are producing graduates who are unemployable. Our students cannot compete! What therefore is the purpose of a Liberian education?
What is the purpose of a Liberian education when parents cannot afford to keep their children in school; what is the purpose of a Liberian education when the family no longer exist to support the family life of students; what is the purpose of a Liberian education when schools are without books to teach and learning is driven by pamphlets, not sufficiently vetted for classroom instruction?
Distinguished students, the Liberian people are desperate for improvement in their standard of living that assures all citizens have a fair chance to be able to secure the basic necessities of life. Liberians want opportunities and possibilities to pursue their dreams, raise strong families and build vibrant communities.
Our policy is to invest in people?
“UPP believes that the government should organize itself so that it can help solve human problems. It must find ways of securing and providing jobs for it’s citizens; food at affordable prices; low cost housing ; quality healthcare and education for all; to help make each Liberian functional in society. In other words, UPP believes in Government delivery of social benefits.”
We believe that a Liberian education ought to be more than graduation or having your name place on a diploma. We believe that a Liberian education should train you to get a job. Liberian education should give you a job, a rising income, a living wage and not a poverty wage.
To achieve this for our youths who account for the largest share of our population and hold the future of a brighter tomorrow:
We will bring together the private and public sectors, the schools, and families to jointly invest in strengthening school reform, including aligning the schools’ curriculum with market demands at the domestic and international levels, so that our youths have a clear pathway from school to work, when they graduate from school. Similarly, we will invest in our teachers and pay them a living and raising wage, while at the same time holding them to a high quality standards of performance. We will build new school and equip them with modern technology, a 21st Century laboratory to promote the sciences, and a playground that supports sports and recreation.
We will providethem meal while they learn. Under our school to work policy, we will reward high achieving schools and distinguished teachers for their achievements to the success of our students. We will work with all stakeholders, the schools, the private sector and the public sector to develop the whole school and provide rewards and incentive for performing schools while providing support assistance to struggling schools trying to improve and achieve standards. When students succeed; teachers succeed; and families succeed. And when family succeeds, the whole of society is benefited.
As a strategy to providing a clear pathway from school to work, we will align colleges with public institutions to strengthen collaboration and ensure mutual support for meeting their broader objectives. For example, the Foreign Service Institute of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will collaborate with the IBB Graduate School of international Studies to produce graduates for Liberia’s foreign services, while the MOE will enrich the school’s curriculum with its practical experiences. The same will hold for CARE, The Tubman Bio-Medical Research Center, the Medical College of the University of Liberia, BWI, etc.
We will encourage a partnership between Government and the private sector to invest in student-led and faculty-driven research of institutions of higher learning that advances basic scientific and social ideas in fields of science, technology, energy, mathematics, healthcare, as well as social policies.
We believe that getting an education is the surest path to the middle class; giving all students the opportunity to fulfill their dreams and contribute to the economy and democracy. Public education is one of our critical democratic institutions. We are committed to ensuring that every child in Liberia has access to a 21st century quality public education so they can outpace their competitors in the region and enhance their ability to compete with confidence in the world. This means that we will make sure Liberia has the highest proportion of college graduates by 2030 in Africa. This requires excellence at every level of our education system, from early learning through post-secondary education. It means we must close the achievement gap between Liberian schools and schools in the sub region and ensure that in every county, children can benefit from high-quality educational opportunities.
This is our commitment to this society!
I think so because of my own experiences. I am one of you. I was introduced here today as a businessman anda politician.
I was born in Monrovia and grew up in New Kru Town and some of the most common Liberia. I lived the life experiences of everyone who knows and understand life in poverty. But, I did not allow poverty to define me. I made it not because of where I come from, but because of where I set my eyes; a prize larger than life. I believe, you too have a dream under the sun and that dream is in your reach.
We have shared with you our hopes and dreams of what a public education in Liberia should achieve for our youths and we ask your support to make this a national policy of education. A policy of school to work will provide our graduate with ladders of opportunities; and it will ultimately beat back poverty from our streets and communities across the country.