By: Timothy R. Yoko
The administration of the Salvation Army Polytechnic in Sinkor Monrovia has graduated scores of students with both Associate degrees and Diplomas.
At the graduation exercise where several students passed out from various disciplines, most obtained diploma in the area of Technical and Vocational Education while others obtained Associate degree.
Thus, the event took place Friday, October 21, 2022, at the Salvation Army Command office on 17th Street in Monrovia.
Speaking at the occasion, Liberian Businessman turned Politician Amin Modad, who served as the keynote speaker told the students that their graduation from the institution should not make them feel that their time of challenges in life are over, instead they have just begun the struggle.
According to Mr. Modad, they are going into a Liberia where getting a Job for employment is difficult therefore, they need to be strong and fight for their space in life.
At the well-attended ceremony, he disclosed that life is about choices people make and if the graduates have made up their minds for a specific career they need to be focused.
The former Unity Party (UP) National Chairman, however praised the parents of the graduates for their efforts in supporting their children at the Polytechnic, adding that the choices made by their parents were in the right direction.
“I however admonished you not to be complacent about your graduation today. You have just only crossed the first major hurt in your life. Now you have the support of your parents, families, and friends. I will not stand here and tell you that life will be easy as it has been for you thus far, he further admonished the graduates.
The Liberian business tycoon emphasized that Liberia is at a crossroads once again. The economy is declining, quality education and healthcare are scarce and costly, good-paying jobs are hard to find and the cost of living is increasing every day.
As you become more and more responsible for yourself and others you will be confronted by setbacks, failure and disappointments, but I assure you today your graduation is a testament to the many possibilities, and your capacity to see them as challenges, he added.
Modad wants the government of Liberia to empower the younger generation by building their technical capacities.
“Why there are many issues affecting our educational system, we need to understand that at this period in our lives and our nation’s history acquiring of formal education is a small part, we need to build a more viable, vibrant and technical skills workforce and provide opportunities for you to grow beyond these certificates, diplomas and Associate degrees”, he said.
We have a lot of former academic degree holders in our society, many people who are aging without jobs who are not contributing anything to our growth and transformation, Modad continued.
According to him, many of these degrees have no relevance to where Liberians are and where they want to be as a people.
Associate Degree Students Left and Diploma Students Right
The former ruling Unity Party Chairman wonders why not many Liberians focus on other developmental courses but rather study public administration and other courses that are not “relevance” to the growth of the country.
“Why is everyone pursuing law and public administration degrees when we don’t have skills engineers, electricians, carpenters, agriculturists, hotel managers, teachers, until our national cautiousness and our aspirations are in line with our long terms national agenda we are not going anywhere, and poverty will be in the trench.”
Continuing, he said Liberians need to understand that the comparative advantage lies in the society and the economy, saying we have armory, rainfall, fertile soil and enough fishes in our waters. Now we don’t have farms and improved value addition sites.
He argued that the economy is still in the hands of foreigners, when manpower are still being imported from neighboring countries to address the skills and professional gap in the society.
This is why I am so pleased to see you graduating with degrees and training in technical areas., he praised graduates of the polytechnic.
He explained that this graduation is not only celebrating their passing but it is also celebrating the decision each of them has made to be more than ordinary and to play a relevant role in their country.
“As you go out there, I challenge you to search for personal and professional goals beyond your expectations and continue to pursue that, but the key lesson that I will leave you with today is that in order to achieve all your goals you must also be mindful of value for yourselves”, he further told the students.
For his part, the President of the Salvation Army Polytechnic, Dr. Emmanuel Urey Yarkpawolo congratulated the graduates and admonished them to remain focused on their careers as they go all out into society.
Prof. Urey Yarkpawolo in Picture ( President T-SAP)
Prof. Urey Yarkpawolo at the same time lauded parents of the graduates for their efforts in supporting their children, adding that their graduation was just the beginning of their journey to a greater level in life.