-As Citizens Wait Patiently
By Esau J. Farr
When the news of the construction of vocational school in Botota City in Kokoyah, Upper Bong County broke out in Kokoyah Statutory District, many including single parents, elders, education authorities and the student community were overwhelmed.
The interest further grew when the ground-breaking ceremony for the project took place in May 2018 which brought together stakeholders from all sectors of Kokoyah and Bong County graced the occasion, an event that spreads the news about the impending opening of the Kokoyah Vocational Training and Literary Center (KOVOTALC) like a wide-fire.
Now that the making of concrete blocks are in progress, many residents of Kokoyah, especially those from the student community are eager to seeing the construction of the first of the proposed nine housing units expected to be built in Botota for both training center and staff quarters.
In an interview with the Communication Officer of the school, Esau J. Farr during his recent visit in the area, several citizens expressed joy over the progress of the project saying, they are grateful to God first and the administrators of the proposed school for the level of works being done so far.
“My brother, the very day I saw the truck off-loading the first consignment of cement for the molding of blocks, I said to myself that indeed our dream was about to become a reality,” one ‘Normal Day’ 10th Grade dropped-out expressed joy.
According to Joseph Kpakolokoyah Dolo, since he dropped from high school upon receiving his promotion to the 10th Grade in 1989, he has not been able to return to the classroom as a result of the civil war in Liberia coupled with family burden and now children father.
“The way I look at myself now, I am not able to go Gbarnga and live there to complete my high school because I left school since 1989, about 30 years now and leaving my family behind me. But if we can have a vocational skill training center that will teach us different skills and trades, some of us can stay right here and go there to learn something that will help us support our family,” he recommended.
Kokoyah Statutory District in Upper Bong County, one of the largest districts in the central Liberian region with an estimated population of almost 100,000 inhabitants, only has a high school yet to be function in the Senior High Division.
There are at least three Junior High Schools in the area but lack any vocational training center something that hinders many students from completing Secondary Education as many are unable to reside in Gbarnga in the midst of lack of financial support to continue their academic sojourn thereby being left to survive on local farming, garden work, motor bike riding and palm-cutting as the only means of earning a living.
Many youths, especially those without hope of completing high school studies are eager, hoping and praying to see a day when the project will be completed and begin the enrollment of students to develop their skills and provide beneficiaries careers that will help them earn their daily living and improve or raise their living standards.
Education authorities including Kokoyah School District Education Officer (DEO), Sunnie Kpee and some school principals welcomed the idea of opening a vocational skill training center in Botota which they described as laudable during the ground-breaking ceremony of the school in May this year.
Last week, an excavating machine begun the clearing and leveling of the project site in Botota and is expected to continue this week as more works are to be done to pave the way for the construction of the center during the next dry season which begins in October this year.
When completed, the school is expected to provide skill training in the areas of General Construction, Electricity, Plumbing, Heavy & Light Duties Driving, Computer Education and Professional Tailoring amongst others.