KAKATA, Margibi – The administration of the Booker Washington Institute said it made substantial progress in 2016, despite low budgetary allotments to the institution, considered one of Liberia’s preeminent centers for technical and vocational education.
In a recent news conference, BWI Principal Harris Tarnue said the institution is struggling to make financial gains due to inadequate budgetary support. He noted that progress is steady despite these challenges.
“Let us remind you that BWI is still operating at one-third of its pre-war years’ budget of US$6 million,” Tarnue said. The institute now receives approximately US$3 million per year from the national budget. It is not clear how much BWI receives from other sources.
High enrollment of students, poor infrastructure, and the challenge of building a qualified instructional staff remain are among the top challenges for BWI, Tarnue said.
He expressed appreciation to the United Nations Industrial Development Organization and the Japanese government for their support in training their staff and, at the same time, operating a heavy-duty hydraulics-training program.
Tarnue said that for the 2016/2017 fiscal year, the administration has a goal of raising the school’s budget by 15 percent through enterprise activities and noted that 78 percent of this target had already been achieved in December 2016.
He further added that his administration is hoping to achieve more in 2017, including increasing the number of new classes, such as training in solar energy technology and biomedical equipment repair. Tarnue also said he hopes to expand the heavy-duty equipment operator and maintenance school.
In addition, the administration wants to make renovations to the staff houses, as well as improve the quality of the water facility.
Tarnue said about 85 national and international development partners are being engaged to beef up the institution’s technical capacity.
Featured photo by Emmanuel Degleh