Pushing Knowledge Economy and Rule of Law -Report: ‘100-Day Action Plan Also Invested In Youth’

MONROVIA: Being aware of the challenges facing the young people in Liberia, including limited access to employment, exposure to substance abuse and the need to empower them to live a productive life, the administration of President Joseph Nyuma Boakai did not forget to factor this critical segment of the population during the implementation of the 100-Day Action Plan.

Several reports on the future of the young people of Liberia have it that most of them still face significant challenges in getting quality education, healthcare and social services or leading a meaningful life.

According to the reports, the protracted civil war had negatively impacted the lives of the young people, leaving a good number of them to live broken lives, with a number of them at-risk youth combings dumpsites for survival in post conflict Liberia due to the lack of robust plans by past and current governments to rehabilitate and reintegrate them into the society”.

At the official launching of the 100-Day Deliverables of the government, the Deputy Minister of Finance for Fiscal Affairs outlined the interventions the government made in the first 100 days in office in the thematic areas to bring relief to the people in the short run while elaborate efforts are being put in place to find durable solutions to some of the challenges facing the country.

Under the education sector, the report indicates that the government made a commitment to pay scholarship arrears for local and foreign students, invest in youth capacity building in ICT for the first six months and complete the construction of 25 schools.

In order to fulfill its commitment, the report said the government allotted USD579,119.00 for the payment of arrears for both local and international scholarship students which encompasses underwriting expenditures such as monthly allowances, resettlement assistance, French language training programs, air ticket costs and other administrative and operational costs associated with students’ wellbeing.

The report said that the allocations have also gone towards investing in youth capacity building in ICT for the past six months, complete the construction of 25 schools as well as preventing 18 students from being expelled from the institutions they are attending abroad, adding that the arrear period was between July 2023 to March 2024.

The report also said the GoL is on the verge of completing 25 schools under the Improving Results in Secondary Schools (IRISE) program.

Of the 25 schools, 16 are at 100% civil works completion and only require the installation of solar panels, furnishing, school supplies and materials.

“Additionally, 90% of the Early Childhood Education (ECE) schools targeted are at 100% civil works completion and waiting to be furnished with solar system, school supplies and materials”, the report said.

Giving a breakdown of the total beneficiaries of the local scholarships, the report put the figure at 3,500 students from the academic year 2022/2023 to academic year 2023/24 and include 283 students at the graduate level, 2,903 are at the undergraduate level and 164 at the associate degree level. The report said additionally, USD3.5m has been appropriated in the FY2024 budget for the payment of WASSCE fees.

The report further said that the Youth Capacity Building in ICT project has been launched and the various activities have been initiated or completed including assessment of major facilities to host the training in seven counties completed, Online registration portal/platform to vet students has been developed and made accessible, the training curriculum has been developed and validated, the National Steering Committee and Project Management Unit (PMU) has been established and training activities have been approved by the Inter-Ministerial Committee.

Rule of Law Sector

Under the rule of law sector, the report said the Government of Liberia is committed to eradicating the trade and use of illegal substances in Liberia and furthered that the government made some progress with the disbursement of USD200k towards the fight against illegal substances, massive community engagements and awareness ongoing at 21 high schools, 21 ghettos were raided and over 200 suspected drug dealers detained, including notorious individuals who are being prosecuted.

“The Government has identified and is monitoring specific locations in densely populated areas such as Pelham Building, Zimbabwe Ghetto, 12th Street Block, the community behind ERA Supermarket, and King Gray Community. The Liberia Drug Enforcement Agency has been successful in raiding about 21 ghettos in Montserrado County.

“Furthermore, to enhance public safety and accountability, active drug users in these communities are being monitored for future enrollment in rehabilitation centers.

“There are community engagements on sensitization and education on drug prevention ongoing in various schools in Montserrado County”, the report said.

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