Liberian Journalists, Others to Get Computer Training
By: Lewis K. Glay
October 19, 2004
The Ministry of Information in collaboration with the Press
Union of Liberia, has formally launched a six-month computer training program
at the ministry's Resource Center in Monrovia.
Information Minister C. William Allen, over the weekend said the program would help to improve the skills of journalists and government public relations officers in computer technology.
Speaking during the formal opening ceremony at the ministry, Minister Allen said he was grateful to PUL, UNDP, USAID and other implementing partners including MICAT family for their collective effort to get the program on course.
Dr. Allen disclosed that five categories of institutions will benefit from the exercise. Among them will be the independent press-38 newspapers, radio and TV stations owned by individuals; government public relations officers from 20 ministries; public agencies and parastatals; the Liberia News Agency (LINA) personnel; faith based or ecclesiastical press and senior students from the Mass Communication Department at the University of Liberia.
He said the center will provide training in basic computer skills in desk top publishing, page making and other programs that would enable participants become computer literate.
Minister Allen also noted that the actual program will commence this week when MICAT in conjunction with PUL and UNDP shall have worked out modalities to get the training started.
He hoped that at the end of the six-month period, the trainees would improve both their quality of reportage and lives to benefit their individual families.
According to Dr. Allen, the holistic approach was also aimed at preparing Liberian journalists for the forthcoming elections in October 2005, which he described as "irreversible."
In remarks, USAID/LTI Country Representative, Musu Clements, thanked Minister Allen and other organizers of the resource center, hoping that the training will not only improve the quality of journalists in Liberia but also improve the quality of their lives.
She observes that the initiative has an enabling effect, which portrays a decent working relationship between the press and government.
Madam Clement also lauded Minister Allen for the establishment of the resource center and sharing the ministry with the Governance Reform Commission (GRC).
Others who expressed their delight for the gesture were Paul Van Gothem, UNDP's Communication Officer, the implementing partner that gave technical support to the program and PUL President Terrence Sesay, respectively.