It is high time that in continuing efforts by government to remove the nation from its recession to one of speedy economic recovery, prioritization of segments have had to readily unfold in adequately addressing the nation-building challenges posed as an outcome of the past debilitating crisis.
The first two years of the Unity Party leadership unquestionably witnessed the prioritization of the educational sector in the national budget, immensely contributing to the creation of conducive learning environment and increased enrollment of youthful students.
Indeed difficult for most students during the postbellum, most of who have had to fetch for themselves by either engaging in petty trading or other manual chores, or burning their eyes as means of receiving scholarships from individuals and institutions, it has apparently claimed the attention of government whose initial concern and response have in the last two or more years come in the form of vacation jobs, although with mixed results.
Commendable of the exercise that has equally contributed to students/youths meeting individual obligations, with whatever remuneration received spent largely towards the purchase of uniforms, books and transportation, in the case with orphans, a pending exercise targeting youths --- the Youth Employment Program (YEP) --- that is expected to cost US$2 million lasting for three months has been undertaken by government.
With the ministries of Public Works, Labor, the Liberia Maritime Authority and the Liberia Agency for Community Empowerment (LACE) given oversight responsibility for the exercise and means of providing short-term employment opportunity for youths, particularly those who may have completed school, --- whether college or high school --- including those who may just have been aimlessly roaming the streets without taking advantage of vocational or technical education, it is envisioned in many quarters that those to benefit would have at least had an insight into what it means to labor through toil and sweat, helping to discourage begging or free gifts.
Rightly chosen to provide oversight, with expectations that the Ministry of Public Works would be able to absorb more youths particularly on the countryside to help in the side-brushing of roads and repairs of dilapidated infrastructure, the Ministry of Labor too could similarly play its part by assigning youths to paint public buildings that continue to remain unpainted but yet with those therein expecting government to pay them monthly from the national coffers.
As regards the Liberia Maritime Authority that in recent years organized a clean-up campaign of beeches in West Point and other areas, revisitation would not at all be bad since it appears a merry-go-round affair that poses serious threat to the environment and creating health hazards.
Not at all instructional but one perceived by segments of the population, LACE which for many months has come to spearhead clean-up campaigns in several communities in and around Monrovia would mean well, as already begun by hosting an orientation program for community facilitators, by giving added beauty to county capitals as well as Monrovia, thus assisting local government that ought to revisit the appointment of town inspectors in ensuring weekly tidiness.
With caution already given youths who are expected to serve as community facilitators not to consider as arm-chair the temporary post, requiring daily inspection and evaluation, it would only help youths who will, perhaps for the first time, be experiencing short-term employment that would motivate them in aiming at positions, no matter how odd, they are able to perform from which they could excel. For example, a road side-brusher, once good at side-brushing, could one day turn out to become a road construction engineer, motor grader or excavator operator.
The pending exercise which is reportedly part of a 150-day deliverables of government in its second term could go a long way in not only bringing little earnings to the anticipated beneficiaries but reshaping thoughts in venturing into the industrial area. These are the little things that matter.