By: Laymah Kollie
New Matadi, Sinkor: In an effort to boost the number of women in the engineering field, the Liberia Opportunity Industrialization Center (LOIC) has revealed a tuition waiver for females desirous of the course at the center.
The preferred courses for tuition waiver include: mechanic, plumbing, electricity , broadcasting amongst others science courses. LOIC is a technical vocational education center in Liberia.
Authorities of the LOIC made the statement recently during a career day program held at the center, new Matadi, Sinkor.
According to the LOIC Monrovia Program Officer, Mr. Tolbo Weay, the waiver intended to support women advance in courses and fields that are male dominated.
He added that female students enrolling will also benefit additionally free access to necessary materials applicable to their study.
“We want women to enroll for these males dominated courses. We have plumbing, electricity, mechanic broadcasting career programs here that are valuable for women. As our way of encouraging more females in these fields we are offering a tuition waiver for interested persons. They will also have access to all the necessary materials needed to complete their studies”, Mr. Tolbo Weay stated.
“When females learn these courses they are highly respected, valued and have the means to cater for them and their families. They can be able to contribute to society while competing with males”, Weay said.
However, serving as guest speaker female career day program, Deputy Directress of the National Housing Authority, Mrs. Tonia Johnson, admonished young women to do their best in every capacity they enroll if they should be at the top.
“Be at your best. You never know where this career will take you. Anything you decide to do, do it at your best because it is the only way you will be given the opportunity to exceed higher” Mrs. Johnson Said.
She added that despite the challenges women face in work places and learning environments; they should remain focused. “Being a career woman is not easy, you will face harassments from your counterpart in the work places, the schools but that should not stop you”, She lamented.
Further, LOIC Public Relations Officer, Madam Ulrike Mann, stressed that thou it is important for women to do pastry , decoration and other feminine courses but going above their limits will make them more valuable for the world market.
“We are not against women doing pastry, decoration because we also offer them here but it is good for them to go for these high science courses. When a woman learns plumbing, it is a plus for her. Society will value her at a high esteem”, Madam Mann, noted.
However, a sponsor of the program, Mr. Antoine Deroide of the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Career Development (IECD) cautioned young women to put energy and passion into what they do.
The IECD boss further told females currently enrolled into these courses to demonstrate interest, as it is the major means of doing their best and attracting employers.
“Demonstrate passion, energy and interest in what you learning. When I decide to employ someone from amongst you I won’t look for the shy, slow or quiet person but I will look for the energetic one. The one that will do best and have good working relationship “, Mr. Deroide noted.
Meanwhile, Participants of the career day lauded LOIC for the initiative and promised to take on challenging courses in changing the narratives.
Theresa P Moore, a student of plumbing, narrated her experience in the institution as awesome and life changing.
“Being a Plumper is so amazing, I mean the decency attached with it. Right now if I’m call to set up someone kitchen, that aspect of carving the materials is what I love most” Theresa mentioned.
Also speaking, Amelia Nyonn a student of electricity, referred to her enrollment in the electricity department as the best decision ever made.
Amelia thinks being electrician is beautiful and add values to her lifestyle. She encouraged other young women to take advantage of the opportunity in building their skills.
“To be electrician as a girl is amazing, imagine climbing on a pole to do connection and people gather around just to see you work. I’m encouraging females to do electricity in order to add values to themselves.” Amelia said.
Liberia Opportunities Industrialization Center Inc. (LOIC) is the largest indigenous non-governmental skill training organization in Liberia and has operated since 1977 providing basic skills training and support services to the youth of Liberia.
LOIC’s mission is Creating an environment where skills are provided for individuals to reach their full potentials with the vision to reduce unemployment and underemployment in the Liberian society.