Home Education Take Advantage of Vocational Education …… County Education Officer cautioned Students

Take Advantage of Vocational Education …… County Education Officer cautioned Students

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MONROVIA: Bong County Education Officer, Mr. Armah Varfee, has admonished students across Liberia to take advantage of vocational education.
Mr. Varfee made the call at the launch of a Technical Vocational Education and Agriculture Training Centre (TVET) at the William R. Tolbert High School in Gbalatuah Town, Zota District, Bong County.

The Gbalatuah Vocational and Agriculture Training Centre (GVATC) was launched at the William R. Tolbert High School in Gbalatuah Town, Zota District, Bong County by a local organization, under the banner: ‘Versatile Professional Services (VPS).’

Speaking at the launching ceremony, Mr. Varfee said, the introduction of the vocational education at the William R. Tolbert High School is a huge opportunity for students and residents of Gbalatuah and the surrounding villages.
Mr. Varfee, who served as the official launcher of TVET lauded the lead sponsor of the vocational program, Mr. Stefan Forsmark, and his team for the initiative.

The Bong CEO emphasized that skills that will be acquired by each student from the training will serve as a career for seeking and creating job within the village.

He pledged the Government of Liberia’s support to the program, highlighting that two of government’s paid teachers have already been designated to teach the vocational courses at the Gbalatuah Vocational and Agriculture Training Centre (GVATC).

Giving the overview of the GVATC program, a staff Versatile Professional Services (VPS) and coordinator of TVET, Mr. David G. Taigbailee, disclosed that the Vocational program is intended to create career opportunities for beneficiaries, especially current students, high school graduates as well as school dropouts.
Mr. Taigbailee said the TVET program is currently focused on agriculture courses in which students can specialize.

He outlined the major courses as Aquaculture (fish farming), crops production especially vegetables, entrepreneurial, live skills among others.

According to Mr. Taigbailee, the program will be piloted for eighteen months and students will graduate with specialty in various areas of agriculture.

Additional courses include Tailoring, soap making, carpentry and hair dressing among others will be included into the program after the pilot is successful.
The TVET coordinator, said for the pilot phase, the program has targeted to train and graduate seventy beneficiaries in vocational skills and as of present over sixty-five students have signed up for the program.

He also mentioned that the vocational classes will run in the afternoon hours to allow current students who are interested to fully participate and classes will be conducted at the William R. Tolbert High School in Gbalatuah.

Meanwhile, Mr. Taigbailee lauded the lead sponsor of the vocational program Mr. Stefan Formark and team including Swedish Education Fund for Liberia, as well as Eric Forsmark for their investment to the vocational program including the government of Liberia through the Ministry of Education, Bong County Education Authorities.

It is a long-term investment, that also covers the salaries of teachers, land for practical among others.
In a message from the lead sponsor of the Gbalatuah Vocational and Agriculture Training Centre, Mr. Stefan Forsmark which was read by students Talemene G. Mator of the tenth-grade class, Mr. Forsmark extended best wishes to the students and administrators.

In his message, Mr. Forsmark said he lived in Liberia in 1966 and visited Liberia in 2020 as such his love for the country and its people is very strong.

He indicated that his support to the school a thank you for all good moments that Liberia has given him, which were the starting point for developing a plan for the school, and was done together with Mr. Taigbailee.

He said the goals and opportunities of the Vocational & Agricultural Training Centre are to increase the students’ chances to find/create ways to earn future living in the village, developed agricultural and product processing skills, reduce the unemployment in the village and avoid that young people leave the village, and that the graduates can contribute to the development of the local community because life in the village can be much better than the city.

Mr. Forsmark highlighted that the goals and opportunities are to increase the number of female students who continue their education instead of entering an early family building, Strengthen the village families means for having sustainable life conditions, link up the business owners with the students, build cooperatives among the students, educate to be a good source for employment by existing businesses
He thanked the MOE, DEO Abraham Gbellekoyah, CEO Mr. Armah Varfee, the village Elders, the PTA, the Principal, the Teachers, all of the Village People and David G. Taibailee that have all been part of making the dream come true.

Mr. Forsmark commended the Swedish Education Fund for Liberia, as well as his brother Eric Forsmark for the financial support.

He emphasized the need for support from the district, county and country educational representatives as a prerequisite for the success of the school.

He disclosed that the approach of allocating a Vocational & Agricultural Training Centre in a local village next to an existing school can hopefully serve as a model for other regions and villages in the future. According to him, the William R. Tolbert High School will be a good example of what can also be done in other parts of Liberia.

For his part, the CEO of the Versatile Professional Services, Joseph Jomah, pledged his organization’s support in working along with the administration of the William R. Tolbert High School for successful implementation of the Vocational program.

He lauded the principal of the school Mr. Gorline S. Weh for accepting the program in the school. He also appreciated the Bong County School Authority for the smooth corporation with the TVET coordinator.
The VPS CEO extolled Mr. Forsmark and team for the moral and financial supports to the TVET program. Contributed by: Linda Gbartie

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