Liberia: YMCA Gets Polytechnic Status

The Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA), has transitioned its computer training program to a Y-Polytechnic College. The new development, according to the organization, is in line with its vision to provide quality computer education to Liberians.

The YMCA's newly acquired polytechnic status stands on a 15-year track record of multi-level computer training programs and over 14,000 graduates over the period.

Following series of engagements with the Ministry of Education (MoE), through the National Commission on Higher Education the Y-Polytechnic College was licensed and then launched on Friday September 13, 2019 in commemoration of the YMCA computer training program's 29th graduation exercise in Monrovia.

The ceremony, which was well attended by array of government officials, parents and guardians was held under the theme, "Quality Computer Literacy Skills-A Boost to Successful Youth Entrepreneurship."

Of the 380 graduates, 60 were doing the Intermediate program, 14 from the Advanced Level, while 310 graduated from the beginning courses that introduced them to computer knowledge.

In his keynote address, Samuel A. Mitchell Jr., chief executive officer of Corina Hotel, said computer knowledge plays a pivotal in the growth and development of every nation.

"Nowadays, banking institutions seek qualified data analyst, website designer, as well as information technology (IT) specialists to make an impact in society," he said.

According to him, if one is computer literate, that person become "highly marketable" maybe as a data collector, graphic designer, etc.

Mr. Mitchell then encouraged the graduates to contribute to the growth and development of the YMCA that made them professionals.

He lauded them for remaining resilient in their pursuit of computer knowledge, adding, "You have prepared yourself for the future, therefore, go on and seek employment to develop the country, but you must create a passion for every job by putting your country first."

YMCA computer training program was established in November 2004 to provide young people the opportunity to acquire basic internet skills and proficiency in other advanced computer programs. Since its establishment, more than 14,000 people have benefited from the training programs with females standing at 53 percent, and 47 percent male. At present, many of the beneficiaries are working with various public and private institutions.

In 2018, YMCA began the process of elevating its programs which, according to the leadership, was granted a permit to operate professional and technical training institution.

Y-Polytechnic acting director, Gabriel Briamah, said the management received the permit from authorities at MoE through the NCHE to prepare a degree-granting program.

The Publisher of the Daily Observer newspaper, Kenneth Y. Best, called on the graduates to take advantage of the skills they acquired over the years to contribute to the country's technology industry.

"When you are a technologist, people will consider you as an expert, therefore you must have passion to explore your skills by making significant contributions to impact the society," Mr. Best said.

As one of the special guests, Mr. Best informed the graduates that Liberia needs more people in the IT sector.

He then thanked the YMCA leadership for the bold step taken so far to give some of the serious-minded young people quality computer education.

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