Prince Y. Johnson Dedicates University in Nimba
GANTA, NIMBA COUNTY–PYJ Polytechnic University (PYJPU) is a state-of-the-art private tertiary institution established in 2014 with the aim of providing competitive learning opportunities as an alternative to those in need.
The founder, Senator Prince Yormie Johnson believes that quality education is the most viable strategy to transform society.
The Nimba County Senator established the institution as a pragmatic strategy to help address the complexity of societal problems such as unemployment, underdevelopment, and illiteracy.
The vision to establish the university started with the PYJ Educational Foundation. The Foundation established a high school in Paynesville outside Monrovia in 2010. Touching humanity from a secondary school level was not enough as the urge to respond to the needs of thousands of young people yearning for quality university education was yet to be addressed, thus prompting the establishment of the PYJ Polytechnic University.
The university was on Saturday, March 25, 2022, dedicated in Ganta, Nimba County.
Speaking at the dedicatory ceremony, Senator Johnson said, he established the institution as his contribution to the development of post-war Liberia.
“My vision to establish this gigantic university started when the civil war was raging Liberia and I knew by faith that one day the war will cease and there will be peace. I then began to think about what contribution to make to the rebuilding efforts of Liberia. We had this dream and started to make contact. We met with several regional stakeholders and discussed the vision with them. We also met with former president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Harry Greaves (deceased), Chief Justice Francis Korkpor, Jeremiah Koung and discussed the dream with them –they accepted it and made contributions. We prayed about the vision and here we are today” Senator Johnson explained.
Senator Johnson bragged of his achievement, saying “since Nimba became a county in 1964 no citizen has singlehandedly established such institution”.
He said the establishment of the institution complements the government’s efforts in the fight against illiteracy in Liberia.
“God has helped me to bring development in the area of education to open your minds so that you can know your rights. We are committed to ensuring that facilities are provided at this institution to enhance students’ learning. Whatever God will provide, we will invest it into this institution for the sake of our children” Senator Johnson assured.
According to him, the establishment of the university has no political undertone and warned those politicizing education to desist.
“This is an academic institution, it has absolutely nothing to do with politics” he cautioned.
Speaking further Senator Johnson said, he was motivated to establish the university due to the growing learning demands of young Nimbaians who on a yearly basis go to other counties in pursuit of tertiary education.
He said “We want Nimbaians to remain right in their own county to acquire affordable and quality education. Going to Monrovia and Maryland is burdensome. This university is very affordable. There is no private university in Liberia that offers US$8 for a credit hour. We want the university to be affordable so that many young Liberians can attend here”
The Nimba County Senator said plans are underway to link the university with other tertiary institutions across Africa.
For his part, the Director-General of the National Commission on Higher Education said the establishment of the university demonstrates Senator Johnson’s abiding love for the youthful population of Liberia who is the future actors of the country.
Dr. Edward Lama Wonkeryor praised Senator Johnson for helping to provide an immense opportunity for young people to acquire quality and transformative education in Liberia.
“As we dedicate this university, let me congratulate you the vision bearer, and members of the board of trustees on your achievement to this level. This achievement signifies your hard work over the years. I say congratulations” Dr. Wonkeryor said.
He challenged other Liberians to emulate Senator Johnson’s example by investing in the tertiary education sector of the country.
Dr. Wonkeryor described technical vocational education as vital to the reconstruction process of Liberia.
He emphasized that the need for technical vocational education is globally imperative and cannot be overemphasized.
“There are several indications that point to the need for technical vocational education in Liberia” he noted.
According to him, the Liberian education sector was described as a mess because it lacks trained manpower in the classroom.
He stressed the need for the establishment of more technical institutions in Liberia to provide relevant professional education to the youthful generation.
“We assure you of our technical support and cooperation to build a vibrant and competitive higher learning institution in Liberia.
The former Nimba County Community College (NCCC) President concluded by calling on the government of Liberia to provide budgetary support to the PYJ Polytechnic University in order to contribute to the human resource development which is a key pillar of the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD).
The PYJ Polytechnic University has been accredited by the National Commission on Higher Education to offer bachelor’s degrees in various professional disciplines including Nursing, Education, Engineering, Public Administration, Electricity, Information Technology among others.
The university is expected to commence academic activities in April this year with an enrollment of over six hundred students who sat its recently administered entrance exams.