The need for more students to study in the various sciences has been stressed by the USAID Excellence in Higher Education for Liberian Development Project (EHELD) being implemented by the Research Triangle Institute (RTI).
Speaking at a two-day Open House and Leag program in Suakoko, Bong County, the USAID-EHELD project Chief of Party, YarkpazuoKolva firstly defined the Open House as a facility/facilities organizations have that they want people to see what’s being done there to clearly see and make informed decisions based on facts.
Yark said the two day’s Open House exercise was geared at allowing people especially students and organizations to have insight of what has been taking place over the past four years since the USAID-EHELD project has been working with the CU College of Agriculture and Sustainable Development.
Speaking to students from nine high schools, employers from various Agriculture institutions in the country including collegians, the COP, narrated that USAID-EHELD project organized the Open House and Leag program to afford them the opportunity to know what benefits are available for students studying in the field of Agriculture and to see what some of the things spoken of during class time are.
The USAID-EHELD encouraged the participating students to engage the CU Agriculture Staffers and students on whatever concerns they have so as to allow them have a clearer understanding and picture of things they don’t know.
He explained that the CU Agriculture and Sustainable Development College was providing Masters Degree program and hoped that could serve as motivation since it affords young Liberians the opportunity to grasp a Masters Degree at home.
The USAID-EHELD boss said when their engagement started with the College of Agriculture and Sustainable Development, Cuttington University had 168 students, but today a total of 566 have enrolled with some now making contributions to the department after graduation, something he termed as tremendous improvement.
He said, “ Since the commencement of the project, the graduating number of students at the Cuttington Agriculture and Sustainable Development College has increased, adding that entrepreneurship is what the project is seeking by using the strategy to train people to go and start their own market and become Agriculture entrepreneurs.”
He also mentioned that through the USAID-EHELD program the Laboratory, resource room and field trial area are tight operational at the College of Agriculture and Sustainable Development.
He informed the gathering especially students that the program consisted of three major arms including the pipe line that is to enthuse high school students to consider Agriculture as a career area, the Center of Excellence improving academic facilities and training of teachers and setting up of laboratories among others.
He named the employers’ engagement, as where people who go through the program are made to work ready when they go to the job sites to have the requisite skills and theoretical background that allow them perform to employers’ expectations.
For the Dean of the College of Agriculture and Sustainable Development, Professor Daniel Yarbah, he termed the CU Agriculture College as one of the best currently in Liberia as it is now a College of Excellence providing quality Education in the field of Agriculture in the areas of Natural Resource Management, Animal Science and Plant and Soil Science.
Speaking further, Dr. Horton, one of the brains behind the setting up of the USAID-EHELD program at the CU, said it was indeed a pride to see people that have already benefited from the EHELD program to return to make their own positive contributions to the very program. She saw that as an indication of people being appreciative of what the USAID-EHELD has been and continues to provide to the people of Liberia especially the youths.
Meanwhile, students spoken to after the Open House and Leag visitation field exercise have expressed their gratitude and appreciation to the USAID-EHELD project for the opportunity that allowed them see and touch some of the things spoken of in Science classes at their various schools, naming the different skeletons, laboratories, plants and their various parts as just few of what had motivated them. The Open House exercise according to the students has given them an accurate picture of what it means to study Agriculture as a lifetime career and benefits associated with it. Some, both males and females have promised to study hard and make up with the USAID-EHELD scholarship requirement to enroll at the CU Agriculture and Sustainable Department College to make Agriculture their lifetime career.