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.