By Esau J. Farr
What was seen as a dead hope for students and potential future students of the Bong County Technical College (BCTC) has been given life again after commitment by Liberian President, George Weah for the reopening and completion of the college in the not too far distance future.
The hope was renewed over the weekend in Gbarnga, Bong County when President Weah assured students and authorities of the BCTC that his government will ensure the re-opening of the college for continual academic activities.
The Liberian leader reaffirmed his government’s commitment to fostering and providing quality post-secondary educational opportunities for all, saying it is one of the surest ways to enhance speedy development.
President Weah realized that his government’s Pro-Poor Agenda cannot be realized or achievable if the human resource capacity of the country’s population made of vast majority youths are not given access to quality education.
The Liberian leader made the pronouncement Friday following a special appeal made to him by concerned students of the BCTC in Bong County through their leader, Isaac Holder.
“We are formally appealing to him Mr. President for the re-opening and subsequent completion of our college. Some of us want to go to school; our time is being wasted and we are getting older every day,” the students are quoted by Farbric Radio as chanting different slogans.
The BCTC was amongst several community colleges initiated by former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as a nationwide campaign launched in Liberia to make available and affordable college and technical education to Liberians who could not make it to live in Monrovia to enroll at the University of Liberia, arguably the cheapest highest institution of Liberia in Liberia.
Since 2010, the construction and running of the school has been marred by repeated allegations of corruption, Legislative tampering, use of substandard materials and misapplication of fund intended for the project amongst others.
Not only that, BCTC remains one of the few if not the only community college that is yet to put out its first graduates or complete construction works since it was established in 2010 while others like the Lofa Community College, Nimba Community College and the Tubman University amongst others can now boast of between three and five sets of graduates since their establishment the same year.
Members of the Bong Legislative Caucus in the 53rd Legislature of Liberia and local county authorities have been alleged of negatively impacting the growth and improvement of the college something that forced former President Sirleaf to close the institution indefinitely and changed in the administrative structure of the college.
The college has suffered repeated and forceful closures, but with this new assurance and commitment shown by new Liberian President George Weah, it is the fervent and addend hope of many that in a not too far distance future, the long delayed over the completion of the college will be witnessed while senior students of the college are now hopeful of being the first fruits or products of the school.
The New Republic Newspaper is an independent newspaper established in 2009 by a Liberian journalist, Alphonso Toweh with many years of experience for the key purpose of reporting a balanced coverage of events as well as promoting Liberia’s image locally and internationally.
Toweh has been working for Reuters News Agency as its correspondent since 1998 to present. In addition to that, he has served as correspondents for the following magazines: West Africa New African, Africa Week and African Observer.
More to that, he worked for Radio Deutche Welle radio in Germany, Radio Netherlands and contributed to CNN, BBC News hour, BBC TV as well as Africa Confidential and Sunday Times in London.
The paper has no political affiliation nor ethic lineage. The focus and primary commitment is to ensure the sovereignty of Liberia and unity for Africa. It seeks to foster human rights and freedom of the press.
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The paper strives for free speech and equal opportunity for all. Importantly, it believes that the nation must intervene judiciously in the economic life, in order to minimise the adverse effects of free enterprise and ensure that less privileged people have reasonable and fair access to the basic necessities of life. By this, it would help reduce some level of threat.
New Republic brings huge commitment to its readers and offers the nation the type of media that will advocate for the people and nudge our nation on the path of development and social re-engineering