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Benitez focused on claiming second place

first_img The Blues travel to second-placed Manchester City on Sunday knowing a win will close the gap on the reigning champions to a single point. However, United are currently a massive 16 points clear of Chelsea – and 12 above City – and Benitez concedes it will be “difficult” for anyone to catch the league leaders “To finish as high as possible is a challenge,” he said. “So we’ll try to finish second if we can, you never know – this is a massive game, so let’s see where we are at the end. Until the last week, we may be fighting each other.” Chelsea will fight to finish as high as they can in the Barclays Premier League but interim manager Rafael Benitez has conceded Manchester United look set to win a 20th league crown. Benitez added: “My idea is to think about this one, because it will make the difference. If you are closer to City, you have to chase the second position. The other one (winning the league), it depends on United. If they don’t lose games and drop points it’ll be difficult. We just have to concentrate on us.” Goalkeeper Petr Cech echoed his manager’s comments and believes City are struggling with the heightened expectations of being the defending champions. “Second place is more than possible for us, we just need to have a good run of results,” he said. “To win the league I think we are maybe a little bit too far, it would need a meltdown from Man United but everything is possible. “They (City) will be at home and need to win if they are going to challenge Manchester United for the title, they can’t afford any more slip-ups. It is a new situation for them, there are lots of players in their squad who have never faced the situation of defending a title. “You can see that they are behind and the pressure is on them and they have to fight with that, it is always easier when you win the first title and is worse when you defend it because you are the team to beat so it becomes tougher.” Benitez is expected to recall Ashley Cole, Frank Lampard and Branislav Ivanovic for the game at the Etihad Stadium after resting the trio for Thursday night’s 1-1 Europa League draw with Sparta Prague. Captain John Terry played the entire 90 minutes against the Czech outfit and is unlikely to be risked for the whole game at City. center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

At Middle Income Discussion GC, Stakeholders Emphasize Human Resource Development

first_imgAs the Liberian Government embarks on making the country a middle income nation by 2030, the Governance Commission and some stakeholders are suggesting solid education and skills training for Liberians if the middle income goal is to be achieved.At a policy dialogue conference on the theme, “Reaching the Middle Income Country Goal:  the human Capacity Issues,” the Governance Commission and other stakeholders in their conclusion noted that although abundant natural and human resources exist in the country, it has remained today one of the world’s poorest economies.Quoting statistical data, the groups pointed to the International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Database, which states that Liberia was placed at 181 out of 184 economies worldwide in 2013.According to a prepared document containing conclusive views of the stakeholders and Governance Commission, lack of effective human capital has consistently served as a major impediment to the growth of Liberia’s economy and its overall output.In their concluding statement, the GC and its partners noted that the cluster of graduates specializing in fields not consistent with workforce requirement projections has rendered the total supply of human resources in the national labor force and its resulting output as fairly inelastic (weak).This translates to a much lower than could be annual growth in Liberia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as a result of uneven distribution of skilled and semi-skilled labor in sectors that drive aggregate demand.“In order to reduce the fairly inelastic nature of our yearly labor supply, we must focus on the output of graduates at the upper basic, secondary and tertiary levels and ensure that they are specializing in fields and taking career paths that are most urgently needed and speak to Liberia’s present day workforce requirements,” the statement noted.A change in this situation, the policy dialogue concluding statement says, requires a reexamination of Liberia’s education system in order to fill those current capacity gaps and produce the needed skills consistent with current national needs.“The system must now focus on increasing workforce needs in professional, technical, skilled and semi-skilled categories that are required for nation building, and as such develop strategies that will address capacity gaps from as early as the lower basic education level,” the statement said.In the quest for needed workforce that conforms to realities of the day, the statement noted that Liberia is fortunate and blessed with a favorably youthful population, an optimal contributor to the attainment of national goal (s) if skilled and developed properly.Emphasis on education in Liberia nowadays highlights mostly Science and Technology.  But it has been observed over time that many Liberian students studying at universities, including the state-owned University of Liberia, prioritize Business and Liberal Arts colleges rather than Science.Statistics gathered from the University of Liberia about enrollment in the Science and Technology College and College of Agriculture show that from 2009 to 2013 a total of 619 enrolled in the Agriculture College, 345 studying General Agriculture, 69 in Agronomy and 196 in General Forestry while only 5 were enrolled in Wood Technology.In the Science and Technology College 916 enrolled in Science, 656 in Biology, Chemistry accounted for 50, Mathematics 62, Zoology 38, Physics 17 and Engineering (Civil, Electrical and Mining) 170.The dialogue was moderated by Dr. Toga Mcintosh, Vice President of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission.Panelists included the Ministers of Education, Labor, Gender Children and Social Protection, Finance and Development Planning, the president of the Association of Liberian Universities and the Chairman of the National Commission on Higher Education.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more