By: Rancy S. Teewia
Mixed feelings ensued at a graduation ceremony of the Liberia Institute of Public Administration (LIPA) where 474 students were issued certificates and diplomas in several disciplines after some of the celebrants noticed that could not be issued their signed diplomas and certificates during presentation of their documents to them due to what was termed as delinquency in payment of some fees to the institution.
LIPA over the weekend held the graduation ceremony at the Ministerial complex in Monrovia, at which time students were discontented over the decision of LIPA Administration to bring unsigned certificates belonging to some of the graduates whom the authority said were in financial arrears with the institution.
Some of the affected students who even displayed their genuine cash payment receipts to indicate that they are free of arrears, expressed serious displeasure with the management, mounting pressure, throwing insults and terming them ‘disorganized and corrupt’.
According to our reporter who covered the program, Journalists who tried to find out the reason for the outbursts of the students from the Director General of LIPA, Prof. Alexander B. Yonly, were snubbed when the director general responded harshly, saying that that he doesn’t care how the people felt about the situation, and furiously walked away from the reporters.
Delivering keynote address at the occasion, the Director of the Liberia Broadcasting System (LBS), Estella Liberty Kemoh, urged the graduates to properly use the knowledge that they have acquired in order to accelerate development and also practice growth and development and other positive activities that will benefit their families and the entire society at large.
“Acquiring all the knowledge is just the small part of your achievement, your professional sojourn must match with the culture of discipline and self-esteem in the work place, stopping to do so could undermines your professionalism at the work place and your communities,” Mrs. Kemoh emphasized.
Mrs. Kemoh told the graduates that leaving the institution, they should not be the same again; instead, shold told them that it should be imperative upon them that the code of ethics in their work places are fully implemented.
Mrs. Kemoh added that the chain of command, complaints, effective communication and timeliness are all essential features that will uphold the institution.
“Your mission now as graduates is to go at your respective institutions to effectively help with your newly acquired knowledge in serving your objectives and programs of your institutions for their advancement,” Kemoh intoned.
She said the milestone the Liberian women had made in the development of the country and the high percentage of women graduating clearly manifest the readiness of Liberian women to step out to the challenges in all areas of National development.
Kemoh however appreciated LIPA for their internal growth, productivity and cordiality in the work place with measurable and approved performance by giving a perfect partnership that the society continued to witness, and the active participation in providing the management strategies and growth that the institution continued to offer Liberians.
For his part, the Director General of LIPA, Professor Alexander B. Yonly said the institution will continue to offer the necessary professions that will help develop the capacity of Liberia as long it exists.
However, he appreciated the Government of Liberia and international partners for their continuous support in strengthening the capacity of Liberians, stressing that skill development is key to the growth and development of the country.
One of the graduates, Ronnell Martin, appreciated the Government and LIPA for their contribution to the educational sector of the society, and acknowledged that capacity development plays a cardinal role in the society
She encouraged the institution to also decentralize the programs in others counties around the country.
The Liberia Institute of Public Administration is an autonomous agency established through an Act of Legislature in other to provide capacity building support for sustained quality Service delivery through research and consultancy, and information Services.