Authorities of the Ministry of Education are at least satisfied that the Ministry's graduation and commencement exercise that had been shifted from December to June is working. The need for the shifting of the graduation month to June is considered by many as long overdue, since this country had been going all out to ensure that its educational system matches with that of the rest of English-speaking West African countries that subscribe to the West African Examination Council (WAEC)'s examination body.
Graduation day is a time for sober reflection over what life can offer or take away. This year's graduation exercises, like that of any other year, had been full of inspirational wise-sayings meant ti direct the graduate and others to students to graduate choose a worthy and virtuous path in life, such as being an asset to society rather than being a liability.
Indeed there is always a need for the graduate to be a sort of role model for others to emulate. The graduate must be inspirational, a trailblazer and be able to play a leadership role in the society. The graduate should be a catalyst of development, exercise patience and be tolerant to the views of others.
What keynote speakers at graduation exercises should not fail to mention is that a graduate should be a problem-solver rather than be a part of the problems and challenges facing Liberia. This is essential because education itself is meant to bring out the best in an individual so that they contribute meaningfully rather than negatively to societal challenges.
What is disheartening in Liberia, as in many other African countries, is that graduates hardly take seriously the admonitions of their key-note speakers, they rather contribute to promoting the vices of the society such as indecent behavior, cheating, criminal behavior, lies, sexual immorality and un-patriotism, selfishness, jealousy, lack of faith and bigotry.
Let us change the negative attitudes of selfishness and parochialism of the past by doing away with tribalism and sectionalism, the get-rich-quick mentality which are all the shortcomings of the past that continues to pin down the progress of this country. There is a need to adopt some attitude of transparency and fairness as well as financial accountability and have respect for government property.
Essentially, after more than a century and half of independence during which the development of the nation had been at a standstill due to the lack of adequate financial support, widespread poverty, mismanagement of scarce resources and rampant corruption, it is nowadays incumbent that Liberians take advantage of the series of interventions put in place by the inspirational leadership of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to chart a new beginning of hope, tolerance and reconciliation, progress and development. There is a need for all Liberians to be tolerant of one another's views. We need to embrace government's efforts to bring hope and progress to Liberia, by everyone putting hands on deck to make their positive contributions to this nation's development.
This is why as we say congratulations to the many graduates from all levels of Liberia's educational system: colleges and universities as well as kindergartens, primary and Secondary Schools or High schools, we implore graduates to avoid repeating the errors of the past. Liberia needs more scientists, medical doctors, qualified teachers, geologists etc. We urge graduates to kick out of the society and out of their mentality the bigotry and selfishness that is characteristic of yesteryears, so that together we will reconstruct a new Liberia full of opportunities for all and sundry.