The Deputy Minister for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) at the Ministry of Youth and Sports has stressed the need for collective and concerted effort on TVET delivery in Liberia.
Speaking on the weekend at an event marking the 10th People’s Assembly of STATE 55 – Union of Conscious Africans, Inc. in Monrovia Minister Bemah asserted that Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) is vital for the economic and social development of Liberia - a country that has more than half of its population as youths (between the ages of 15 and 35).
At the event, Deputy Minister Peter Bemah said, “If our country must be an economically viable nation, where young and old, literate, semi-literate and illiterate flourish, Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) must be taken seriously and viewed as a tool for productivity enhancement and poverty reduction”.
State 55 is a movement of young people across the continent of Africa organized for a United African State. The Liberian Chapter is headed by Mr. Arthur Wahwehlee.
The Deputy Minister further lamented that Hon. D. Zeogar Wilson the Ministry of Youth and Sports Boss, should be hailed for the elevated level of teamwork and camaraderie being fostered at all levels of the Ministry of Youth and Sports. It can be recalled that Minister Wilson considers the current team of officials, “the dream team”. Young Deputy Minister Bemah is playing a very critical role on the team by oftentimes helping to solve problems even outside of his scope of work.
As a pragmatic young man who is very knowledgeable about issues affronting the youth of Liberia, Mr. Bemah said skilled human resources are the bedrock and primary asset of any nation that seeks economic transformation. As such, he assures that Liberia’s TVET delivery system, under his watch, will ensure full participation of individuals from all levels of society; including physically challenged individuals, females, At-Risk-Youths, young and old.
“This effort will greatly solve the problem of inadequacy of skilled workforce in Liberia, thereby encouraging the establishment of more businesses and industries to address youth unemployment, something our President, Dr. George Manneh Weah has described as “a threat to national security” Deputy Minister Bemah Maintain.
At his first address to the United Nations General Assembly in New York, President Weah was very particular about TVET when he enumerated his government’s stance on youth empowerment by saying “for those youths left behind due to the disastrous civil crisis and who have outgrown their school years, my government is investing in Technical Vocational Education and Training programs to build their entrepreneurial and marketable skill-sets”.
Minister Bemah used the occasion to re-emphasize the President’s assertions at the United Nations General Assembly, saying “as a young man, I consider this task very seriously and see myself as a catalyst for positive change in TVET”. Currently, the Department of TVET at the Ministry of Youth and Sports is closely working with UNESCO and other partners to establish regulations that would strengthen Liberia’s TVET system.
In the same vein, the Ministry of Youth and Sports under the leadership of Minister D. Zeogar Wilson and his energetic Deputy Minister Bemah and Assistant Minister Sheriff, is working assiduously to ensure the creation of the Liberia TVET Commission (LiTCom), a governance and regulatory body that would preside and guide all aspects of TVET delivery across Liberia. Under the leadership of this team, the most prominent intervention in the Liberian TVET sector to date is recorded as the European Union grant of Twenty Million Euros targeted toward modernization of the formal and informal sectors of TVET.
For this, Bemah asserts that his boss and the entire team at the Ministry remain grateful to the European Union for its generosity.
In a related development, Minister Bemah intimated that since the launch of the National TVET Policy and operational plan, great deal of attention has been directed by the government, bilateral partners and the private sector at improving Liberia’s TVET system and to ensure a demand-driven and participatory delivery mechanism geared toward economic transformation.
President Dr. Weah’s high level of performance in just 9 months at all levels – especially his quest to make Liberia economically viable and regionally competitive, combined with the need to address the key challenges our unfortunate years of backwardness and poverty has subjected our country and people, Bemah call on all officials of the government to consider it a national responsibility and urgency to adapt innovation-driven strategies for overall growth that should be supported by quality Technical and Vocational Education and Training.
Bemah concluded amidst huge applause when he emphasized that investing in TVET is investing in national socio-economic development. TVET holds the key to technological progress, rapid industrialization, wealth creation and poverty reduction. TVET plays its role as a conduit for socio-economic development more effectively when local manufacturing enterprises become more vibrant.
He applauded State 55 leadership for their laudable initiative geared toward the complete unification of the 55-member countries of the African Union. “Your consciousness about the strategic direction of Africa and its people will go a long in achieving a United States of Africa”, Deputy Minister Bemah explained.
Deputy Minister Peter Bemah is a former national youth leader who served the Liberia National Student Union LINSU, Federation of Liberian Youth and subsequently the Mano River Union Youth Parliament, where he became 1st Deputy Speaker. Through efforts and hard-work, he was spotted by then Senator Jewel Howard-Taylor and recruited to serve her office as Legislative Research Analyst and Senior Advisor on Youth and Student Affairs. He served in these roles with dignity, honor and pride – never losing focus.
He is the only young Liberian to have been selected by the Clinton Global Initiatives (a signature project of Mrs. Hilary Rodham Clinton and Former President Bill Clinton of the United States of America) to participate and serve as a Peer-Advisor to many young people around the world.