The Booker Washington Institute-Japan Heavy Equipment Operator School (BWI-JHEOS) has graduated about 55 trainees following an intensive nine months theoretical and practical training in heavy equipment operation and maintenance.
Speaking during the event recently, the Principal and CEO of the Booker T. Washington Institute; Atty. Harris Fomba Tarnue said the graduation exercise is in continuation of a project that was handed over to BWI by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) with funding from the government of Japan.
According to him, the program truly is a mark of success at BWI because the Institution graduated over 200 trainees (young men and women) in 2018.
The BWI Boss asserted that by then the question that was reverberating in the Hall was if BWI is capable of maintaining the facilities.
“The question that was reverberating in this Hall was, is BWI capable of maintaining these facilities, are we sure we would return here one year after we will see what we see here today; these were questions being pondered in July 2018” he stated.
The Principal mentioned that those who attended the recent graduation program were proud witnesses that nine months elapsed and after one academic year of training BWI proudly put out 55 young men and women in continuation of the project that was handed over to them by UNIDO with funding from the government of Japan.
He indicated that today BWI continues in the footstep of UNIDO that was implementing the project with funding from Japan, but not with funding from Japan rather with fees paid by their students who know the value of the training they went for because they know it is the path for employability and to contribute their part to national development.
Atty. Tarnue added that his administration is proud that despite the fact that BWI does not have International funding, nine months later it can still produce 55 graduates of the school.
He recounted that this is a module of success secondly because the recent graduation demonstrates that BWI has the capacity and competence to continue to sustain the program.
Principal Tarnue, “And to demonstrate that, the first step was to incorporate the program and project into the Automotive Department thereby now having the BWI Automotive and Heavy Equipment Department”.
He used the occasion to inform the gathering about the launching of the road maintenance and construction training that took place at BWI a few weeks ago something he added was done with the corporation of GIZ, the Garman International Development Corporation.
Atty. Tarnue disclosed that the program incorporated into BWI’s General Building Trade Department stating that they are looking forward to commencing discussion with their partners and other relevant authorities to see how they can create further integration of the heavy equipment training school and some relevant portion of the road construction and maintenance program.
He said this will provide the opportunity for those who will complete training at the Heavy Equipment Operator School to go through training at the road construction and maintenance program while students who will complete training in the road construction and maintenance program will have the opportunity to have training at the Heavy Equipment Operator School respectively.
Mr. Tarnue averred that by this, his administration will be enlightening the skills of those who will be graduating from the various programs and making them more relevant to the World of employment so that upon graduation they will be diversified in terms of skills both in road construction and maintenance as well as heavy equipment operation and maintenance.
The Principal then said integrating the program is a further step towards sustaining the different programs at BWI because experience has shown in the past that when a “stand-alone project” is established and the international funding runs out the chance of continuing to run such program has usually been slim in the past.
“But with this new approach we are convinced, as I just said earlier; even with the road construction and maintenance project being integrated into other programs we assure BWI will continue to operate these programs many, many years after the initial phase of the program” he narrated.
Atty. Harris Fomba Tarnue meanwhile thanked the Government of Liberia for its continuous support as according to him was demonstrated by the Director of Industrial Compliance at the Ministry of Commerce Nyenati Kaffey, Sr. stating that the Heavy Equipment Operator School program was initially designed with joint effort of the Ministry of Commerce and other partners with the Government of Japan and UNIDO as implementing partners to start the program that supports national development.