|Remarks by H.E. Ren Yisheng at the 2019/2020 Chinese Ambassador Scholarship Awarding Ceremony|
Hon. Latim Dathong, Deputy Minister for Administration, Ministry of Education of Liberia,
Dr. Julius Sarwolo Nelson, President of the University of Liberia,
Ms. Helen Kiamue, Market Officer/ Scholarship Coordinator of Cuttington University
Mr. Wesley, University Relations Officer of William V.S. Tubman University
Members of the Liberia Media,
Distinguished Ladies and gentlemen!
Good afternoon to you all! I am very pleased to attend this important online event to award the Chinese Ambassador Scholarship to three Liberian universities. This is indeed an impressive moment for me that we are still able to achieve this in spite of the global challenges the world is currently faced with. The COVID- 19 global pandemic has affected every major sector of all countries around the world. The educational sector is just one of the badly affected. In the face of these challenges, we have been working collaboratively with relevant institutions of Liberia.
Today, more than 130 students from three Liberian universities, the University of Liberia, Cuttington University and Tubman University will be benefiting from the Chinese Ambassador Scholarship. This is the outcome of their hard work and I want to use this medium to especially congratulate all of them and their families. At the same time, I would also like to take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude to the Liberian Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other relevant government agencies as well as the three Liberian universities for their long-term support and assistance in the selection of qualified winners for the respective scholarships.
Both China and Liberia have a tradition of attaching great importance to education. Because we know that only when young people have more educational opportunities will the country have more hope for development. One of China’s achievements in development is the ability to prioritize the development of education. Education has become an important pillar for enhancing national competitiveness and promoting the construction of advanced society, and has made an irreplaceable and important contribution to China's modernization. Before the COVID 19 outbreak, China has formed an all directional, multi-level and wide-ranging educational opening up pattern. This pattern fully incorporates the use of modern day digital technologies to maintain the provision of educational service delivery to the student populace.
Innovation is also playing a key role in the development of Liberia’s education system. H.E. President Weah has mentioned many times that quality education will be prioritized during his administration. After he assumed the office, he placed education as one of the important elements of the “Pro-Poor Agenda” and proposed to implement a strategic plan for a ten-year period of providing quality education for the benefit of the Liberian people. This has been clearly demonstrated at the University of Liberia when H.E. President Weah launched the ‘Free Tuition Policy’ which is currently being implemented. China highly appreciates this policy. The Ministry of Education of Liberia has provided creative and innovative alternatives that are currently being used by many institutions to continue to impart knowledge to Liberian students thereby mitigating physical contacts and the effect of the global pandemic on the educational system. The successful launch of the e-learning platforms at the University of Liberia and other universities is a laudable achievement by the Government of Liberia.
As the biggest developing country, China has always been dedicated to strengthening its cooperation with Liberia in terms of education and human resource development by sharing its development experiences, knowledge and technology with Liberia in various means. Over the recent years, the educational cooperation between China and Liberia has improved greatly. China and Liberia have successfully completed tangible educational infrastructure projects with the Fendell Campus of the University of Liberia and the Monrovia Vocational Training Center being classical examples. The Confucius Institute in the University of Liberia has continued to improve cultural exchanges between Chinese and Liberians as it implements its popular Chinese language learning programs. In the last decade, several hundred Liberian students have received various kinds of scholarships to study in China in the field of education, engineering, digital technology, journalism, medicine, and agricultural technology. These students returning home not only play an important role in changing the face of Liberia, but also become messengers for the spreading of friendship between China and Liberia. China will further strengthen cooperation with Liberia under the framework of China-Africa Cooperation Forum, Belt and Road Initiatives and the Pro-Poor Agenda, to help Liberia achieve development and prosperity.
I sincerely hope that all the students who receive the ambassador scholarship will cherish these valuable learning opportunities, study diligently, learn and make full use of their knowledge and skills, and make active contributions to the economic and social development of Liberia in all walks of life. What’s more, I also hope that the beneficiaries will play an active role in enhancing mutual understanding and friendship between the peoples of China and Liberia.
Finally, I sincerely hope that all of them learn and live well!
Thank you all!