The Conference, held at the “Bella Casa Hotel” in Monrovia, brought together more than 125 participants from different sectors of the country including government, private, youth and civil society to solicit buy-in and support a minimum 20% of the national budget for education and to also identify alternative domestic resource mobilization to increase financing.
During the meeting, Fr Pottenplackal shared insight on “How we can leverage on Domestic Resource Mobilisation to finance the Education Sector”. With his rich experience in the educational sector in Liberia for more than 6 years, it was not difficult for him to make the most inspiring contribution on the way forward for Liberia. Focused on solutions rather than the challenges, he advocated for a 20% increase in the national budget on Education. He also advocated community engagements and networking as an important means to obtain the desired results. He shared ideas on domestic resource mobilization for education. External support for education in Liberia must be intensified – technically, financially, pedagogically and investment.
“We are happy to contribute to education in Liberia, especially because it involves young people. We are part of the TVET working group in Liberia represented by Fr Sony Pottenplackal (SDB). We want to continue to support development of young people in Liberia. We are ably aware that Liberia needs a lot of support in its educational sector and we are ready to be part of a solution that will ultimately improve the lot of young people,” said Mr Benson Osei-Savio Boateng, Research, Networking & Advocacy Coordinator of Don Bosco Youth Net – West Africa.
Formation of young people is a cardinal pillar in the Salesian Mission. The Salesians of Don Bosco Anglophone West Africa Province (AFW) consider education and technical education as the highest priority in the province. And against this background, many steps are being taken to enhance education and vocational training in Liberia.
Through the “Feel the Electricity” Project supported by “Missioni Don Bosco” in Turin and the Salesian NGO “VIS - Volontariato Internazionale per lo Sviluppo”, an Electrical Training department is being set up in a participatory process that has led to the development of Occupational Standard and Curriculum for the profession of electrician which have been validated.
Liberia needs all hands on deck to support Education for a prosperous tomorrow. Don Bosco’s hands have been and will be on the deck all the time.