By Morrison O.G. Sayon from Bong County
The Vice President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Mr. Victor BockarieFoh has reminded graduates of the Cuttington University in Suakoko, Bong County that acquiring knowledge is better than silver and gold.
Delivering the Commencement address at the 54th Convocation of the Cuttington University, Vice President Foh admonished the graduates to moderate their expectations adding, “Do not vainly compare yourselves with others. In almost all developing economies like ours, Government is often the largest employer. It could be helpful now but that Government simply does not have the capacity to absorb everyone.”
Veep Foh reminded the graduates that this is about time for them to be creative, to be innovative and to endeavor to be self-reliant. “Do something meaningful which others would not. You are products of the Cuttington University of Liberia. Rise up, make a difference and earn the respect of your compatriots. Be of service to your country and to humanity. That is what I leave with you; and this is what I pray you live with,” the Sierra Leonean Vice President said.
He lauded the President and Faculty of Cuttington University for what he calls innovations in the curricula of the University. He furthered, “Reading through your brochure, I am particularly impressed with two programs at this University. These are: The peace and conflict program, and the service learning program.”
VeepFoh noted that these programs are not only important, but are also very useful, as they respond to the challenges of development in present day Liberia and Africa at large. He added, “This is what I call purposeful education for Self-reliance and national development. They are among that very special knowledge- based education that we need to rebrand and transform Africa. By purposeful education, I mean education that makes you relevant to yourself, your community, your country and to humanity.
The commencement speaker noted that it is knowledge that equips and allows you to be selfless and to be of service to mankind. “It is knowledge that earns you the respect of society and the love of children; it is that type of education that instills in you the fear of God, which the Good Books say, is the beginning of wisdom. It is this type of education that we need to build ourselves, and by extension, to build a strong and capable Africa.
He said the University of Cuttington is, by all indication, on the right path of providing knowledge for the new Africa. “The University of Cuttington was also, at a point in time, at the forefront of Inter-and Intra-University collaboration not only within Liberia but with other institutions in the West Africa Sub region. Many years ago, there were student exchange programs with Njala University of Sierra Leone. Such efforts broadened the students’ outlook beyond their immediate borders and prepared them better for modern day challenges,” VeepFoh pointed out.
He said it was mutually beneficial to both Universities and to the two countries adding, “I look forward to resuscitating this mutual learning exercise and taking it to another level.”
VeepFoh went on to describe the nature of the enduring relationship and even kingship that have always existed between Sierra Leone and Liberia, how that relationship originated, how well they have served the two countries and how they have been nurtured over the years and brought to fruition.
He also narrated the benefits which both countries and peoples have derived at as a result and so many others on both sides of the border have been beneficiaries of that relationship in a number of ways. He said one of the practical realizations of the benefits of such good relationship is the Cuttington University witnessed on Saturday at which time an Honorary Doctorate Degree was conferred on him.
The Sierra Leonean Vice President among other things expressed appreciation for the honor on behalf of, and in the name of his fellow Sierra Leoneans and Liberians as well. He expressed optimism that the relationships between Liberia and Sierra Leone will continue to blossom and grow from strength to strength.