Liberia’s fragile education system
Liberia as a country has suffered from a long term of political turmoil and economic instability, and even though nowadays, they are under a sheds and wind of stability and social cohesion . But yet, this long-term injury has caused devastating effects on almost every aspect of the country’s strokes and most especially education. Did you know that Liberia is one of Africa’s countries with a deficient standard of education? Yes, it’s; one may say Quality Education is a pressing challenge on the continent. Yes, of course, the fact is indisputable. But Liberia stands to have 42% of children out of school and only 20% of primary students are able to complete a secondary education according to UNESCO (2021). On the other hand, Liberia lags far behind most other African countries in practically every educational indicators.
Why Liberia’s education system is dragging behind other countries
In quest to provide quality education for children across Liberia. The 14 years of unrest civil war followed by the 2014 school closure due to the deadly outbreak pandemic Ebola had had a gigantic impact on the education system in Liberia. Resulting to this, Liberia is deficiently dragging behind many countries in nearly all statistics of education and this is hindering the country’s desire for providing basic quality education for children.
According to the December 2015 consensus and some economic information center (Montana,2016) the country primary age student was reported at 37.683% as compare to its neighboring Sierra Leone at 99.177% or Nigeria which is 65.949% this shows the huge gap with the education system and with this constraints, there are lot of children especially those in the rural areas have a very limited access to just basic education not quality basic education. Read more.
Between 1989 and 2003, the Liberian civil war had pinned a very bad impact on education. Liberia’s literacy rate was predicted to be 60.8 percent in 2010, 64.80 percent for male and 56.8 percent for females (Outcome, 2021). According to the Liberia Education Sector Analysis report, the vast majority of Liberia’s students are older than the proper grade level, putting them at a higher risk of dropping out than children in the appropriate grade level (UNESCO, 2016). Liberia is not Monrovia and its environs. That is, in a moment of crisis, a model of education must be implemented at all county, district, and regional levels. Whatever approach is used to combat the pandemic, it must be accessible to all children living within Liberia’s borders not only those in the urban areas and this has been a huge disadvantage of students in the rural areas which has increased the level of limited quality basic education for them.
Public Schools in Liberia
Public schools are declared to be tuition free all over the country and this has insignificantly increased in primary education enrollment rate which stands to be 94percent for both boys and girls (Fhi,2021). With a student transition rate from primary to secondary school of 79percent. However, with the increased rate of enrollment in schools in Liberia, the country stands to have a high rate of dropout students. For the senior students, about 82percent of students that dropout, Primary is about 62.4percent. Most of the public school in Liberia lack many facilities such as; libraries, science lab for practical courses, good school building, insufficient spaces for pupils and most especially Qualified teacher, where 36percent of primary teachers are practically unqualified along with 29percent of secondary teachers who do not have any documents that qualify them to be classroom teachers. Read more
Private schools in Liberia
Private schools in Liberia are considered to be the standardized schools where every parent’s ultimate wish is for their children to attend. Amidst the high economic constraints in the country the tuition for private school is still at an exorbitant rate which many parents find as a constraint to sending their children to good schools. However, government subsidies to private schools are not available, which may help them lower tuition and other expenses charged to parents. Which is extremely escalating tuition fees in private institutions and depriving many students from attending.
Some Main factors that are associated with Liberia having limited access to quality basic education.
Some of the standing factors behind Liberia’s deficiency in providing quality basic education for children both in the rural and urban areas are going to be mentioned below;
According to the World Food Programme, 64 percent of Liberians live below the poverty line, with 1.3 million living in extreme poverty out of a population of 4.6 million. This results to a lot of parents being able to consistently comply with the school fees and materials that will keep their children throughout the academic year
According to Moses B. Jackson, acting Chairman of the National Education Coalition of Liberia (NECOL), out of the total 44,000 instructors in Liberia’s 5,000 primary and secondary schools, 22,000 are ineligible to teach in the classroom. And this is slightly hindering the outcome of education and standard in Liberia education system. Read more
They lack the necessary textbooks, school supplies, and other resources is a prevalent issue in Liberia for example, most elementary schools had an average of 90 children per classroom
( Frontpage,2020). The issue is not only a lack of classrooms; all of the essential amenities that you would expect a school to have, such as running water and toilets, are also absent. In addition, only a few schools have running water, and only one out of every four has a toilet. Thisis still an issue in Liberia.
Corruption among teacher and students
In Liberia there is a prominent act of corruption in the education sector, particularly in Montserrado County, where 36 percent of students pay bribes for grades, 27 percent for advancement to higher grades, and 23 percent for tests (UNESCO,2021). And at the in the long run students graduate with no educational standards.
Some consequences of limited access to quality education in Liberia.
According to a recent survey from Liberia’s Street Child, there were approximately 14,000 children on the streets of Monrovia. All these children are left and abandoned in the street due to no education and some of them parents send them in the street to serve as breadwinner which is leading a lot of girls who are sent in the street into sexual assaults on a daily basis in Liberia.
High illiteracy rate among the young population 15-24years
In Liberia about 162.277 of male children are illiterate and 246.539 of females do not know how to read regardless of their age. And the total of 48percent of the young population is illiterate which stands as the a threat to the country’s transformation(Worldbank,2021)
Increased criminality rate
If children and youth are not in school they get initiated into different unusual habits that may lead them in illegal activities and this may cause an increase in the country. For example in Liberia the country stands to have an alarming rate of drug addicts in the country and a gigantic number of young people are predominantly involved. With the increase of drug addiction among youth people in Liberia, this is posing a lot of social challenges to the country such are; Insecurity, high criminality rate,school dropout, domestic violence, physical harassment amongst others(FADCA, 2021).
As we all are aware that education is the power and ultimate weapon that we can use to transform the world as said by Nelson Mandela, it is time for Liberia to revamp and retransform the education system. Therefore, I urge all stakeholders to pay maximum attention to the educational sectors in their various countries. If not, we risk ruining the future of the next generation of change makers.
Click here for: INFOGRAPHIC
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