By Bill Cooper
Dekegai Vocational School in Bopolu City, Gbarpolu County, on Monday, November 6, 2023, graduated 3,300 students who have obtained technical training in several areas of specialization.
The vocational school is solely being sponsored by Representative Alfred G. Koiwood.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Dekegai Vocational School, Madam Alice Kewelleh, said the school program started far back in Kakata City, Margibi County, with three hundred students.
Madam Kewelleh said the school is offering vocational skill training for young people in tie and dying, soap making, hair dressing, baking, and catering.
The Monday ceremony was the 10th graduation exercise of the institution since it was founded in Margibi, according to Madam Kewelleh.
CEO Kewelleh explained that in 2022, Rep. Koiwood, after attending one of the school’s graduation exercises in Margibi, appealed to her to move the school program to Gbarpolu County, in order to provide skill training for the young people living in that part of the country.
She stressed that the school then moved to Gbarpolu County with Rep. Koiwood serving as the key sponsor to all the programs.
According to her, the sponsorship of Rep. Koiwood has taken the institution to another level, where over three thousand students are graduating with skills in several areas.
She applauded Koiwood for supporting the Dekegai Vocational School since it moved to Gbarpolu County.
Madam Kewelleh is therefore calling on the government and interested organizations wishing to partnership with the institution, to do so, in order to prepare the minds of the young people.
According to her, the school lacks several things, including training materials, motorbike, among others.
CEO Kewelleh disclosed a plan to extend the exercise to other counties, if funding and support are available.
In remarks, Rep. Alfred Koiwood thanked the graduates for mustering the courage to have completed the training exercise.
The Gbarpolu County lawmaker admonished the graduates not to keep the certificates as decoration in their respective homes, but instead, use it to better their living conditions.
He vowed to do more in sponsoring the institution if the willingness comes from the young people.
He appreciated the CEO Kewelleh and the entire teaching staff for their tireless efforts in preparing the graduates.
Delivering her keynote speech at the graduation ceremony, the Vice president, Jewel Howard Taylor, urged the graduates to utilize what they have acquired from the institution.
“Put your certificate to use to better your lives and make Gbarpolu proud,” VP Taylor cautioned the graduates.
VP Taylor also cautioned Rep. Koiwood and the CEO of the school to work on plans to transform the training center into a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), so as to expand its operations across Liberia.
The Liberian VP pledged one million Liberian dollars, to be given after the election, for the establishment of said NGO.
According to her, her office will closely work with Senator Edwin Melvin Snowe of Bomi County to secure the amount for the Dekegai Vocational School transformation.
She encouraged the graduates to use what they have acquired to put food on their family tables.
“What Koiwood has given you in the school cannot be taken back, so make use of it,” she told the graduates.