Weah Promises Jobs for High School Students

President George Weah has promised Liberian electorates that if reelected, he will prioritize job creation for high school graduates despite his administration’s failure to reduce the country’s overall employment rate during his first term.

“High school graduates are always required to have experience before being provided an opportunity for employment, therefore, if you reelect me, I will ensure students from 10th to 12th grades are provided jobs,” Weah said at a campaign rally.

“I remembered working for [then] Liberia Telecommunications, and my salary was US$50.00. I learned how to be a technician,” the President said. “We want to reintroduce it to make sure that children will not be asking their parents for US$20, and they can now have their own money.”

The rally, which took place in Montserrado County Electoral District 4, had a considerable turnout of some first-time voters, many of whom are still in high school. 

However, the president’s promise comes amidst growing concerns over his government’s inability to effectively reduce poverty, as acknowledged by the finance minister earlier this year.

The government’s Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development, launched at the beginning of President Weah’s tenure, aimed to uplift the most vulnerable segments of society and spur economic growth.

However, the administration has faced criticism for its failure to achieve significant poverty, address limited job opportunities, inadequate access to quality education, and insufficient healthcare provisions as envisioned in the agenda.

Evidence of the lack of job opportunities was demonstrated when the National Elections Commission (NEC) seeking a maximum of 6,900 staffers for the voter registration exercise witnessed over 59,000 people applying, thereby being faced with the challenge of selecting less than 7,000 people from 59,000 plus people.

His latest commitment, however,  which many considered a populist promise has also been met with cautious optimism, who have long awaited concrete measures to combat the lack of job opportunities and economic prospects faced by high school graduates.

But Weah remains optimistic and asserts that he has never let down the Liberian people as he will ensure that the promise is fulfilled once elected president. 

He emphasizes that such a program aims to equip  high school students and graduates with the skills required for employment immediately after finishing “senior secondary education.”

“Vote for us comes October 10 because I am a talk-and-do person. I have never promised anyone and don’t do it,” the President said. “It’s only fair for the mighty Coalition for Democratic Change to have a second term because most of our works are 90, 95, and 85 percent and we need to finish our work,” Weah said.

“In our life, we were all cadets and so we need to bring back such a program for our students. We need to ensure that every child from 10th, 11th, and 12th grade while going to school, we will do our best to employ them so they can have the experience. This is not a joke.

Meanwhile, Weah has appealed to Liberian voters to reelect him as a birthday gift in a one-round victory.

“You will not make a mistake in reelecting President Weah, Saah Joseph, and Momo Kamara. Don’t isolate me by electing only me and leaving those [who are] supposed to help the government succeed out and elect opposition people,” he added

“My birthday is October 1st but I will not be celebrating it but I want you to give me my gift by waking up at 4 am on October 10 and voting for President George M. Weah for a one-round victory,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Finance, Samuel Tweah, has named salary increments of medical doctors, lack of borrowing from the Central Bank of Liberia, and payments of WAEC fees as reasons for the reelection of President Weah.

Tweah however did not provide evidence to back his claims.  He said as chief finance official of the Weah-led administration, he has been under serious pressure by the President to raise resources to address some of the issues facing Liberians and Liberia, including the money to pay medical doctors.

“Medical doctors were making US$700 under Joseph Boakai Unity Party for 12 years but upon taking office, President Weah instructed me to ensure that all medical doctors make not less than US$2,000. We have been paying medical doctors US$2,000 for the last five years and a half,” Tweh said.

He said Weah has set high standards for the country’s Presidency due to his many developmental initiatives, which will lead to serious demand from anyone who will succeed President Weah.

 

 

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