The Principal of the Booker T. Washington Institute (BWI) in Kakata City, Margibi County, Atty. Harris Fomba Tarnue wants more infrastructure erected and training equipment at the various Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Institutions across Liberia.
The BWI Principal said, TVET institutions in Liberia are challenged with space and training materials due to the growing number of young people who are craving quality technical vocational training; and now some training centers having obsolete and outdated infrastructures, training equipment and space.
Atty. Tarnue made the assertion Tuesday at the graduation of forty-five (45) young Liberians (males & females) who participated in one-year intensive road maintenance and construction competency based training in Kakata city.
The Liberian educator said, the government of Liberia needs to find way to expend the infrastructure to increase access to TVET for the benefit of the young people of the Country.
He continued: “I know my colleagues in Zwedru, my colleagues in Sinoe, my colleagues in Voinjama; I am in touch with them every time. We have a serious challenge in terms of infrastructure for providing training for young people.”
He said though other partners are helping government to intervene in other areas such as curriculum development and human resource development which are “critical interventions” government has to increase the infrastructure capacity to be able to increase access to TEVET considering the number of young people across Liberia who need technical skills for national development.
Mr. Tarnue recalled that many years back every County had a center that hosted equipment and staff for maintaining roads across the Country adding that it can happen again.
“This is the beginning of that journey with the young people coming into the workforce, so as we partner together in workforce development in Liberia, we are happy at the Booker Washington Institute that we can play our role though we are challenged” he extended.
The BWI Principal hopes that the partnership which started with the project will go further in recruiting and training many more young Liberians in the transport sector specially the road construction and maintenance.
Att. Tarnue then informed the acting Minister at the Ministry of Public Works, Ruth Coker-Collins that when the trainees are produced the institution has the challenge of getting them placed on job.
The Principal also disclosed that the program has designed on a competency base training, meaning, all the graduates are not talking about the documents given them but the skills they possess to perform.
Mr. Tarnue said, he is sure that GIZ and the Swedish government support and everyone working together will make it a national program.
He stated that BWI as a TVET Institution has lot to do and as they partner together, they have to look at the entire supply chain in workforce development.
Atty. Tarnue at the same time assured the graduates that his administration will not rest in ensuring they are placed on job because they do not want to train young people and see them riding motorbikes and exchanging money the next day, but to rather see them engage in performing the skills they acquired at BWI.
For her part, the Acting Minister at the Ministry of Public Works, Ruth Coker-Collins assured the forty-five graduates that her Ministry will lobby with partners and contractors to have them incorporated.