In the wake of buttressing national Government Jobs creation strategy and to as well help empower young and future leaders of Liberia, over 200 young students will on Friday walk out of the walls of the Liberia Opportunities Industrialization Center (LOIC) after a hectic but rewarding period of studies.
According to the National Executive Director of the (LOIC) Marie Kolenky the passionate, determined and focused young people will in a proud and celebrating style receive their respective certificates on Friday December 13, 2019 having completed both practical and theoretical studies in the areas of: Auto Mechanics, Computer Science, Electricity, General Construction, Plumbing, Home economic and Tailoring.
Other disciplines include: Refrigerator & Air Conditioner Repairs, Counseling and Small Enterprise Department.
The LOIC mother of several other vocational institutions in Liberia was established in 1977 as a non-governmental organization with support from the Liberian Government (GOL) Bread for the World (BFTW) the private sector and several other partners and stakeholders including network among others with the focus of man power development in the society mainly by reducing drastically unemployment and underemployment across the Country.
Speaking to reporters ahead of the 24th Graduation ceremony the National Executive Director of the LOIC Mrs. Marie Kolenky said looking at the crucial role of Vocational and technical education in the Country especially after the civil war and as part of their four years strategic plan, the institution remains engaged and committed to assisting national government in the development of vocational skills which is a crucial component to the LOIC’s human resources development strategy to help address poverty, unemployment and underemployment respectively.
According to her the institution despite some challenges have strive to maintain its focus and primary goals of helping to build the capacity of future leaders of the Country.
“Over the period, we have struggled to put out graduates and in an impressive numerical faction many of whom are now making positive impacts in the Society”, the LOIC boss bragged.
Mrs. Kolenky praised her dedicated and committed staff for working tirelessly with the students in a difficult period in the Country.
“We are no longer a structure staff-pay institution anymore, unlike in the past due to huge financial challenges which we are experiencing”, she added.
The LOIC boss acknowledged the contributions including support of partners to the LOIC but was also quick to add that they expect more from central Government.
“If we will survive and operate effectively than, subsidy is not the way out, rather grant, Madam Kolenky indicated.
She said over the period and due to their legislative status, they were receiving budget support in the tune of 700,000 to 800,000 but was later slice to 400,000 and 200,000 respectively, as currently, they do not receive a dime from central government neither from the legislature.
“We are striving to operate the School and we are contributing immensely to the society as such urgent support is key”, she intoned.
As part of the institution’s 2019-2023 strategic plans, capacity building of staff as well as modernization of current materials and equipment, among others, are high on their agenda, she added.
According to the LOIC boss plans are also in the making at the level of the Ministry of Education to help assist them through their bulk figure grant process but stressed that said amount was not disclosed to them, however, she is certain that it will be a handsome package that will help caters to the paramount needs of the institution.
The LOIC currently operate in four Counties namely: Montserrado, Bong, Grand Bassa and Grand Cape Mount and are said to be making positive impact across the Country especially among the young and under privileged people in society as plans madam Kolenky noted are in the making to ensure they extend to other parts of the Country through a strong support base.
She named some of their major areas of concentration as : Technical Vocational Education, Psychosocial Counseling and job creation/placement as well as follow-up services.
Meanwhile the Managing Director of the National Housing Authority Cecelia Cuffey Browne will serve as the 24th commencement speaker of the LOIC while some committed and dedicated staff of the LOIC will be honor as a sign to motivate them to do more.