Following 18 months of intensive training in automotive, machining, and electricity, the Ministries of Youth, Sports, and Education, have received the third batch of Liberian TVET instructors from the Republic of Zambia.

They were trained at one of the renowned technical and vocational education centers known as Mopani Centre Training Center (MCTC) in that country.

The instructors, who are 14 in number, including one female, were immediately deployed to various TVET institutions around the country as per the agreement of the study to train, pass on the acquired knowledge, or provide high-quality, demand-driven technical education for young people to become employable in society.

The initiative, which is currently being funded by the European Union and the Swedish government under the Youth Rising Project, is implemented by UNIDO.

However, Assistant Minister for TVET at the Ministry of Education, Saku S. Dukuly, who spoke during the welcome ceremony on Tuesday, June 13, expressed delight to witness yet again another occasion of welcoming Liberian TVET teachers who have returned from study abroad.

“So, we are happy to receive you all, and that’s while we are here to officially welcome this group back, and this is not just a group that we are welcoming. We did this before, and this group is the third, if I am not mistaken,” Dukuly said. “First were the metal and fabrication teachers that came back, the carpentry teachers, and today we are having those that are in machining, automotive, and electricity here today. So, we are happy to be here to receive you all.”

He urged the newly trained TVET instructors that with the caliber of people they are and the skills they have acquired, they need to take the lead to help others become like them and ensure that they develop Liberia together.

According to Dukuly, this is a journey that started some years ago, but it was in 2014 that the European Union, under their Educational Development Fund, decided to make a contribution to TVET in Liberia to be able to transform the TVET sector.

While acknowledging the EU for the support and UNIDO as the implementing partner for the job well done, the Assistant Education Minister for TVET told the instructors that they have a responsibility to build this nation, and it depends on them all.

Dukuly said once the young people have the requisite knowledge, skill set, and attitude in this area, they will be able to transform the country because Liberia has the resources to do so.

Speaking earlier, Anthony Nimely, UNIDO Deputy Project Manager for Youth Rising, declared that his institution is glad to be part of this process of transforming Liberia’s TVET sub-sector.

The goal of the TVET program in Liberia, according to Nimely, is for beneficiaries to be able to integrate into the labor market or develop their own jobs.

“So we are happy to present to you 14 teachers. Of that number, eight (8) are from the automotive section, three (3) from machining, and three (3) from electrical, of whom one (1) is female,” he explained. “So, ladies and gentlemen, I am pleased to present that these teachers have been away for a period of 14 months at the Mopani Centre Training Centre (MCTC), situated in Zambia, West Africa.”

He told the gathering that after the long journey, they are back in the country to be able to contribute to the development of employable skills for young people as they contribute towards nation-building.

Nimely, who presented the instructors to the government through the MOE and MoYS, lauded the two government entities for the task entrusted to them to prepare young people for the different trades that are outlined.

“So, thank you for a job well done. Now that you have come, it is good to be reminded that you have a responsibility, as you had been told. Part of your delivery is not just to lay hands on things and make them work, but to demonstrate the right attitude, and that will be inspiring and motivating for the young people that will come after you so they, too, can be able to walk in your footsteps. Let’s remember that as one group leaves the stage, another group definitely has to come on,” he urged.

For his part, the Chairperson of the project steering committee and Assistant Minister for TVET at the MoYS, Millias Z. Sheriff, who received the instructors on behalf of the government, praised the EU and the Swedish government for the degree of TVET assistance provided to the government.

Sheriff stated that once the Youth Rising Project is completed, it will help thousands of young people who will be motivated to enroll and improve their individual abilities for the betterment of Liberia.

He said, “Your 18 months were somehow very engaging. You did not only prove that you were a student but rather an ambassador of Liberia, and that ambassadorial role played a role in allowing yourself to be successful and to project the positive image of this country.”

For their parts, the beneficiaries expressed their gratitude towards the governments of Liberia, the European Union, Sweden, and UNIDO for their support in acquiring advanced knowledge in their various skills.

Meanwhile, Minister of Education, Prof. D. Ansu Sonii and BWI Principal, Dr. Atty. Fumbah Tarnue made remarks at the occasion. The welcome ceremony of the instructors was also graced by employees from UNDIO, MoYS, and Education held at the conference room of the Ministry of Education in Congo Town –