The Question of Self-Actualization

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Bong County Technical College (BCTC): 2010-2020 First Graduation

The Commencement Speaker from the Outside

Synopsis of the history of Bong County Technical College (BCTC). By virtue of constitutional legislation and academic transformational legitimacy, the Liberian Fifty Second (52nd) Legislature passed into law the establishment of the Dolokellen Gboveh College in 2010. The college primary goals were to train student in the areas of Computer Engineering, Mining Engineering, Civil Engineering, Agriculture Technology, Education Technology, and Nursing. To achieve these goals, the people of Bong County donated 27.5 acres of land for the construction of the college in the city of Gbarnga.

The building of the facility was planned in four phases. Phase 1: The construction of the administrative and classroom building. Phase 2: The furnishing of those facilities. Phase 3: The construction of residences for students, staff, and faculty. Phase 4: The furnishing of these residences of the college. The current Bong County Technical College (BCTC) 2010-2020, first historic commencement exercises and its outside speaker is a case in point. Bong County Technical College (BCTC), one of the community colleges established in 2010 in Gbarnga Capital City of Bong County, has graduated its first batch of twenty-two (22) students, since it began active academic activities in 2013. “Being one of the first of its kind established, BCTC has been facing setbacks with corruption permeated by county officials, including some past legislators”. This situation among other things, perpetually obstructed in many instances, or in fact, strangulated the completion of the college and prevented students from their academic enhancement while other Colleges in the nation were progressively graduating their citizens-students. It is imperative to elucidate that Bong County Technical College (BCTC) objective through its established vision in 2010 by an act of Legislature was to educate “aspiring students in disciplines that are technical and skill-oriented”.

The First Historic Commencement Exercises of the Bong County Technical College (BCTC), was held on December 19, 2020.  Why an Outsider was chosen as its Commencement Speaker?

An authentic Culturally Conscious Education is an essential knowledge sharing mechanism that illuminates a culturally conditioned people from a societal darkness of the mind, body, and souls (Dr. Sirleaf 2016, USA). Do you want to tell me, there are no intelligent or a concerned Bong County Citizen, who is qualified to have given the first historic commencement speech at Bong County Technical College (BCTC)?

  1. A. Significance and concerned Bong County Citizens of Interest:
  2. Why Liberian Vice President, Jewel Howard-Taylor, Citizen and Daughter of Bong County could not serve as the first historic commencement speaker of Bong County Technical College (BCTC)?
  3. Why Dr. Joshua D.B. Giddings, Bong County Intellectual Scholar and Son, could not speak?
  4. Why Dr. Henrique F. Tokpa, Senator and Son of Bong County, did not speak?
  5. Why a progressive young person from Bong County was not asked to speak?
  6. Why the Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of Liberia (UL) Dr. William E. Allen, Son and Intellectual Scholar of Bong County could not speak?
  7. Why Ambassador Jerimiah Sulonteh a son of Bong County could not be contacted?
  8. Why Dr. Mogana S. Flomo, Jr., a Son, Scholar, and a CEO of a university could not serve as the Commencement Speaker?
  9. Internationalization of BCTC:
  10. Why Thomas-Greenfield, who held an Ambassadorship in Liberia, and postings in Geneva, Pakistan, Kenya, Gambia, Nigeria and Jamaica, and was the top diplomat in the Bureau of African Affairs, and is now President Elect-Joseph R. Biden’s appointed US Ambassador to the United Nations, could not be contacted to serve as Speaker for the historic BCTC First Commencement?
  11. Why Professor Joe Flomo Matthew, an Adjunct Professor at National College of Business & Technology Cleveland, Ohio, and a son and Bong County Intellectual Scholar in the USA could not be contacted to speak?
  12. Prior to the commencement, Professor Dr. Amos M.D. Sirleaf (Ph.D.), posted on the Internet -Facebook, to volunteer from the USA to serve as the commencement speaker, since he was the first Vice President for Academic Affairs at BCTC in 2014?

Based upon the above constructively, and analytical inquiries, it is important to mention that “the Question of Self-Actualization” for the Bong County Technical College (BCTC) 2010-2020 First Graduation, and the choosing if its Speaker from the Outside, is a culturally conscious and persistently persuasive subject as passionate narratives. According to the Daily Observer, “Delivering the Commencement Address at the First Graduation Ceremony in the history of the Institution on December 19, 2020, the President of the Nimba County Community College (NCCC), Dr. Edward Lama Wonkeryor, challenged the graduates to be persistent in their academic endeavors, stressing that ‘persistence’ is a key to success, adding that it is necessary for making progress in life”. This is a fallacy of relevance and an unorthodoxy as a social construction of reality. Bong County as intrinsically and culturally belonging, naturally essential access to the arts of the people’s values, requires moral defensibility by any means imperative.  Bong County Technical College (BCTC) like Bong County, is intrinsic to a high quality of life, inherently innate, and inborn culturally conscious priceless sentimental value. Also inbred, congenital by virtue of land of nativity.

Indeed, does the choosing of the so-called outsider/speaker relate to the perpetual excruciating situations the people of Bong County went through in the establishment of the BCTC today? What the “hell” does he know about your situations than yourselves in your county? However, from every fact-finding conjecture, personally, I do not blame the speaker but the Bong County people and the authorities of the BCTC Commencement Program Committee. As an academic practitioner, I concord that contemporary, commencement speaker, and also according to Stefanie Botelho Issue: April, 2016, March 30, 2016: “Choices for commencement speakers are making headlines this season, and higher education officials are aiming to make sure those headlines are positive”. In essence and inference, many cotemporary colleges and universities in the USA and the global community prioritize students input and diversity when choosing commencement speakers. They are also developing screening processes to ensure speakers are both engaging and appropriate for the audience of graduating students and their families, faculty and administrators. This, in many instances, is to avoid public protest and collective actions against the speaker. This is extremely necessary to avoid putting the graduates and the entire program at terroristic ricks.

For instance, at Manhattanville College in New York, the commencement process begins early before the fall semester with a dialogue between the Student Government Association and administrators to create a list of potential speakers. The official invitation to speakers traditionally comes directly from an institution’s president after all amicable agreements are met. However, some schools, universities, colleges and institutions succeed with a more personal approach. For instance, Dillard’s class of 2015 was determined to host President Barack Obama at its commencement, but initial attempts to reach the White House were futile.

Parenthetically, considering the objectivity of this passionate subject, it is imperative to articulate that an empirically observed ethnocentric tribalistic culture has been traditionally a doctrine in many Liberian ethnic groups. Of course, Nimba County is a prolifically pronounced front line architect of regional tribalism in Liberia. Therefore, the question is: Can Nimba County Citizens allow another County’s Community College President to give the First Historic Graduation Speech of Nimba County Community College? Not only Nimba County, but ethnically, no county in Liberia will prioritize an outsider’s interest over their people. Specifically, when it comes to promoting and identifying their people’s interest in their counties.

It is within this constructively engaged frame of reference necessary to express honestly, that BCTC and the people of Bong County, practice from here on out, how to be culturally and collectively spontaneous in their critical thinking philosophy. Why? Because the people’s spontaneous action in the context of progression, is always determined by themselves to be the best. Why? Because the Bong County people cannot, will not without their best progressive deliberation and heed, come so close to any question as their spontaneous glance shall bring to them in Bong County. Why? Because Bong County Citizens are the architects of their own faith. According to Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Through spontaneity we are re-formed into ourselves”. Therefore, Bong County-BCTC collective and harmonious community and regional developmental consciousness, will ultimately create an explosion that for the moment free Bong County from handed-down frames of reference.

Additional, free Bong County from a culturally conditioned retroactive falsification of memory, choked with archaic negative historic facts and information of dependency on culturally conditioned education. As Ralph Waldo Emerson further pointed out, “through spontaneity, we are re-formed into ourselves from undigested theories and techniques of other people’s findings”. For Bong County, especially the BCTC situation, spontaneity is the moment of personal freedom when faced with reality, and see it, explore it, and act accordingly. In this reality, the bits and pieces of themselves will function as an organic whole in exclusion of outsider determining their destiny like the BCTC first historic commencement speaker alluded to the graduates.

Robert Kennedy articulated that Let us dedicate ourselves to what the Greeks wrote so many years ago: “to tame the savageness of man and make gentle the life of this world”. To post-Bong County-BCTC first historic commencement disparity, this is the time of rediscovery, of experiencing, of creative expression of self-actualization. For Bong County, the scourge of pre-and post-conflict disparities in this specific context, would make progressive Bong County intellectuals and youth, see that Bong County BCTC long-term  struggle  demand the obliteration of present weakness, hates, disputes, false narratives and collective hallucinations, rush to judgment conclusions; and that only in unity, found in a united federated one Bong County, one federated culturally conscious ethnic realism, can the Bong County people find their destinies and self-actualization.

It is necessary therefore, to elucidate that I have always had a pre-disposition against the Bong County political culture since my understanding of the Bong County political hegemonic-cultures. Please and respectfully note that, different does not mean divisive, it’s just different. This presentation intends to intellectually provoke a political controversy and to provide a new thesis that can help undo post conflict political confused state of Bong County affairs with specific emphasis on the BCTC self-fulfilling prophecy and defeatist delusion.

This declarative hypothenuse or philosophical hypothesis is explicatively articulated based on an empirical observation, that all politics are local, Liberia-Bong County is of no exception. If this assumption cannot be a fallacious characterization, or sounds like a static description of a political naivety, then this might not only be relevant to Bong County but all Liberian political propositions must be, at minimum, culturally, ethnically, and ethically composed of a specific frame of reference, (concepts and them cultural consequences and definitions), and overall articulatory, statements (proposition); connecting the components of the frame of reference. Because political philosophy in the context of Bong County, is about political societies–what they are, which forms can be justified, and what they should and must do.

Taking a concise objective view and conceptualization dimension and analysis of the subject in question, one can pre-maturely test the hypothesis with some semi- justifications that, the Question of Self-Actualization: Bong County Technical College (BCTC 2010-2020 First Graduation and the Speaker from Outside, has a demonstrative and theoretical aspect of crucial importance, and critically  relevance to the present political situations in Liberia in general and Bong County in particular without a preponderance and specific political focus group’s optimism of an honorific gratitude and title symbols. Respectfully as Karl Popper, meant by the statement that, “Within any cultural science there must always be an overabundance of falsifiable propositions” Personally, from every humanistic and logical comprehension of natural human groupings, and from an intellectual expository political and philosophical calculation, Bong County, in many instances, symbolizes the Political and Socio-Culture of Amnesia and the Anti-thesis of Political Generation.  Dr. Clyde O. McDaniel, Jr. Research Methodology: Some Issues in Social Science Research requires higher and lower social implications”. University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 1974.

It is imperative to elucidate that we as Liberians specifically from Bong County and or as a people, must be opened to the dimension that we do not know what is unknown. For, no one knows all and everything there is. Notwithstanding, during difficult times, everyone must rationally exhibit extreme sensitivity in grace. Because Political, social, culture, and economic transformation has its own painful transition and post-conflict BCTC should not be excused at this time. At times, only when it is dark can you see the stars. Bong County has specific appetites and suffers negatively from amnesia for not remembering the best of themselves. It must be mentioned that post -conflict situations in Bong County can never and will never be resolved by obnoxious, pessimistic, and skeptics Liberians or Bong County citizens whose horizons are indefinitely myopic by obvious realism. It is reasonable, to express that as a culturally conscious Black-African- and American educated Liberian expatriate scholar and professor to Cuttington University from 2011-2016, my personal and professional engagement with students, the public, and other concerned Bong County citizens about the question of Bong County Self-Actualization, was always one of my majors in and out of class rooms subjects. Of course, facing the challenge of post BCTC first historic commencement speaker from the outside, demands a new age and mind set and overall realistic reasonableness. Bong County, it must be mentioned that by nature and our ancestors blessing, is culturally and constitutionally built-in, ingrained, deeply rooted and inseparably permanent and indelibly ineradicable to the natural existence of its people. If Bong County Technical College (BCTC) is to prevail on its self-determination, it is to impower its students, faculty, staff, and its community to forbid outsiders from determining their destiny.

A 2021 Tetrapodic message to Bong County-Bong County Technical College (BCTC):

As a Blacologist, cultural Science Research and Development Institute, USA-Liberian Mission professor, I have to be pedagogically didactic in an effort to intellectualize our people. In essence, it is necessary to undo some of their culturally conditioning Eurological and Eurocentric disciplines. I am optimistic that the below listed behavioral observable attitude has some profound impacts on the historic existence of our people and our county.

  1. Bong County authorities must never blame anyone in their effortless failure and faults of their own making.
  2. Bong County authorities’ manipulation is defined as a type of social influence that aims to change the behavior or perception of others through psychological abusive, deceptive, or underhanded social, political, and sectional tactics.

It is essential for the purpose of Bong County authority, to know the difference between healthy Bong County social influence and political manipulation. For instance, healthy social, political, and culturally conscious influence occurs between or among most people and is part of the give and take in an amicably atoned and reconciliatory healthy regional and national relationships. In contrast, in a manipulative relationship, one person is used for the benefit of another. The manipulator deliberately creates an imbalance of power and exploits the victim to serve his, her, or their agenda.

Conclusion:

In conclusion, Bong County, BCTC must come to the ultimate realization that never again. Never again…and never again in the 21 years into the 21st century, shall the people of Bong County allow themselves to be marginalized and allow people from outside to determine their destiny. The case of the First BCTC historic Commencement Speaker from the outside.

Professor Dr. Amos M.D. Sirleaf (Ph.D.)

Blacology: Cultural Science Research and Development Institute USA-Liberian Mission

914 East Tantallon Drive, Fort Washington Maryland 20744

2024309988 Email: amdsirleaf@gmail.com Website: Blacology.com

REFRENCES

See history of Bong County Technical College Establish 2010 by the Government of Liberia to provide Technical Education.

See According to the Daily Observer, the first graduation ceremony in the history of the institution on December 19, 2020.

See Dr. Amos M.D.Sirleaf, first Vice President of BCTC in 2014

See Stefanie Botelho Issue: April, 2016, March 30, 2016: “Choices for commencement speakers are making headlines this season, and higher education officials are aiming to make sure those headlines are positive”.

See Dillard’s class of 2015 was determined to host President Barack Obama at its commencement, but initial attempts to reach the White House were futile.

See Manhattanville College in New York, the commencement process begins early before the fall semester with a dialogue between the Student Government Association and administrators to create a list of potential speakers. The official invitation to speakers traditionally comes directly from an institution’s president after all amicable agreements are met.

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