MANCHESTER, England (AP):Louis van Gaal was careful to downplay talk of a permanent power shift in Manchester after United’s 4-2 victory over City in the most recent derby game.Old Trafford was rocking that evening in April. After four straight losses to their neighbours, United finally owned local bragging rights. City were on a downward spiral – behind their neighbours in the standings, their title defence in tatters and with manager Manuel Pellegrini’s job under serious pressure.But Van Gaal wasn’t getting carried away, and he was right.Since that painful loss six months ago, the blue half of Manchester has recovered to remain the dominant force in the city – as they have been since the end of Alex Ferguson’s 26-year tenure at United in 2013.City won six straight games after that derby, to finish the Premier League nine points above United and in second place.After two months of this season, City are in first place, the top scorers in the division and the favourites to capture the title for the third time in five years.The derby mauling in April seems a distant memory now as City head back to Old Trafford on Sunday for the 161st Manchester derby, the headline game in the 10th round of Premier League fixtures.The momentum seems to be with Pellegrini’s men, who have won their last two league games 6-1 and 5-1. City also had the advantage of playing at home in the Champions League on Wednesday – beating Sevilla 2-1 – while United had to travel back from a game in Moscow on the same night.However, United are at home – where they are unbeaten this season and have won seven of eight games – and has the incentive of potentially going top of the league with a win. United are third, tied for points with second-place Arsenal, but behind on goal difference.Arsenal are at home to Everton on Saturday.’PERFECT’ DE BRUYNEThe absence of striker Sergio Ag¸ero and playmaker David Silva, who were injured during the recent international break, has robbed City of their two most influential attacking players for the derby. But in Kevin De Bruyne, City has one of the most in-form players in the league, proving so far that he’s worth the US$85 million the club spent to make him their record signing.Pellegrini even called him the “perfect” signing after De Bruyne scored an injury-time winner against Sevilla on Wednesday.De Bruyne has been rotating, with great effect, with Raheem Sterling for central or left-wing roles in City’s attack in recent games. He is hard to pick up and his eye for a pass is arguably as good as Silva’s.Pellegrini’s biggest call this weekend is whether to recall captain Vincent Kompany, or retain the centre-back partnership of Nicolas Otamendi and Eliaquim Mangala.TRAVEL TIMEUnited must make a 1,600-mile journey back from Moscow on Thursday after the 1-1 draw with CSKA in the Champions League, putting the team at a disadvantage ahead of the derby, according to van Gaal.”Manchester City don’t have the travel. We have, so they have more rest,” Van Gaal said. “There is nothing you can do. They have the benefit.”United are in mixed form heading into the weekend, having lost 3-0 to Arsenal and won 3-0 at Everton in their last two Premier League games.
Authorities at the University of Liberia (UL) have decided to shortly launch a project titled “The National Service Program.”This internship program is in agreement with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s recent mandate, which urges the UL Administration to send graduating seniors into the teaching field for at least a semester prior to their graduation.President Sirleaf, at the launch of a three-year Education ‘Operation Plan (2014/16) on May 24, mandated her officials starting with the Minister and Deputies at the Ministry of Education (MOE), to return to the classrooms and teach the students for at least three months.In so doing, the President believes her officials will experience the ‘hardships and headaches’ teachers across the country endure in discharge of their respective duties.The expected exercise according to the President is for her appointees, particularly the ministers and their principal deputies at the MOE to feel the adversity of teaching in Liberian schools.The President’s mandate was interpreted as a means of inspiring her officials into defending the plight of teachers, who over the years have been protesting against low-to-non-existent salaries and other benefits.The Liberian leader also instructed authorities of UL to allow graduating seniors from the William V.S. Tubman Teachers’ College to go into the field and teach in the classrooms for at least a semester before they can be qualified for graduation.It is based on the presidential mandate that the UL authorities plans to launch the National Service Program, mainly for students that are benefiting from government’s scholarship.UL president, Dr. Emmet A. Dennis told reporters that the National Service Program intends to encourage students to move into the leeward counties to teach for one semester before graduation.He made the disclosure in an interview with reporters shortly after the MOE’s ‘Operational Plan’ was launched at the Monrovia City Hall.According to Dr. Dennis, the initiative of teaching in the classrooms was necessary to empower the students acquaint themselves with various teaching methodologies.Dr. Dennis indicated that launching the National Service Program for students that are government scholarship beneficiaries would eventually encourage all other university students to render national service before graduation.He called on the government to work in collaboration with UL Administration to plan the National Service Program which will encourage the students to help teach their brothers and sisters in the remote parts of the country.In another development, the president of the Bong County Technical College (BCTC), Dr. John S. Flomo, has called for collaborative efforts among the county leadership to ensure the speedy completion of the BCTC project.He said construction work on the BCTC, which began in 2012, has expended over US$4 million constituting 65 percent of the work being completed.Meanwhile, Dr. Flomo has pledged to commit himself to the college and to work hard to improve existing programs at each of the departments within the college’s programs.The BCTC contains the departments of Civil, Mining and Computer Engineering as well as Agriculture and Education. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)