According to a press release from NOCAL, Dr. McClain made the urge Tuesday, 21 April when he dedicated three science laboratories at the D. Tweh High School in the Borough of New Kru Town, Bushrod Island, a Monrovia’s suburb. They include Biology, chemistry and Physics labs.
Performing the ceremony, the NOCAL CEO and President said, the company was pleased to identify with Liberian schools in helping to develop the technical capacity of students.
“Today we find ourselves interacting with international oil companies, who have people that are experienced. We would need our people who would get hooked on science; get to be just as experienced to interact with them closely to ensure that what they are telling us is the right thing because we also are very hooked on science,” he emphasized.
He said NOCAL will continue to encourage students to develop more interest in the sciences because the future of Liberia’s oil program may require their expertise. The NOCAL CEO noted that Liberia needs more trained manpower in the oil industry to help develop the industry, which he observed cannot be left to foreigners alone.
Dr. McClain expressed the hope that qualified teachers would be available to ensure that the laboratory program achieves its objective. Without very good teachers, he said, it would be difficult for students to acquire the quality education needed for the development of the country.
In response, outgoing Education Minister, Madam Edmonia Tarpeh, lauded NOCAL for the gesture, describing it as a “life saver to us.” She encouraged the oil company to continue to provide for the schools to help develop their knowledge in the sciences.
Minister Tarpeh urged teachers and other faculty members to secure and utilize the facilities to ensure that students acquire the knowledge needed to improve their background in science.
The occasion was witnessed by the Acting Vice President for Corporate Relations, Mr. Pete Norman and other officials of NOCAL, a member of the House of Representatives from New Kru town, Hon. Edward Forh; MCSS Superintendent, Adolphus Jacobs, the Principle of D.Tweh High School, among others.
The project is part of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between the Ministry of Education and the National Oil Company of Liberia in 2011.
Under the MOU, NOCAL is to provide funding for the renovation and furnishing of science laboratories in selected public high schools in the fifteen counties of Liberia. To date, science laboratories have been renovated and furnished in several public high schools throughout the country, including C.H. Deweh, in Bomi; Sinje in Grand Cape Mount County; Bopolu, in Gbarpolu County; Harbel Multilateral, in Margibi County, and the Elizabeth Tubman Memorial Institute (ETMI), in Caldwell, Montserrado County. Others include the E. Jonathan Goodridge High School in Barnesville, Montserrado County, Sinoe Multilateral High School, in Greenville, Sinoe County and the Barclayville High School, in Grand Kru County.