The Liberia education system over the years received many lashes which also triggered former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to describe same as a mess – a statement that created serious debate in nearly every quarter of the country during the reign of the former Liberian leader.
Nevertheless, recently, following a Joint Education Sector Review in Ganta, Nimba County, in which the World Bank has submitted its report on Liberian education System, the Ministry of Education and its partners have vowed to improve the status of Liberia Education.
Information gathered revealed that the Ministry of Education and partners following a week of stay in Ganta City, have jointly reviewed the country’s educational sector with statistics being presented and promulgated by the World Bank.
In the report on the educational sector in Liberia, the World Bank observed among others things that over 5,000 teachers, which made up 62 percent of all teachers that are assigned in government-owned primary schools across the country, do not hold a grade “C” certificate, which is the minimum teaching qualification in Liberia.
The report says that at the secondary level, teacher quality is low, with only a third of secondary teachers having the minimum qualification for their position, which requires a university degree or “A” certificate as described in the education policy.
At the end of the November 9 Joint Education Sector Review in Ganta, Nimba County, the Bank said:
“A lack of qualified teachers and a low quality of teaching are driving low learning outcomes in the country.”
The report also noted that the National Student to Teacher Ratio in senior high school is 13.1 but, according to the report, the low number of qualified teachers means a Pupil to Qualified Teachers Ratio of 48.1 for senior secondary schools.
It was also disclosed that schools in poor, rural and remote areas are less likely to have qualified teachers than schools in more wealthy or urban areas.
During the meeting in Ganta, it was also revealed that limited access to and a lack of quality of Early Childhood Education (ECE) are bottlenecks to improving the country’s education sector.
The World Bank also outlined some of the challenges hampering the education sector, such as lack of permanent structures for some or all classrooms for about 30 percent of public primary schools; lack of a comprehensive national monitoring system to track the progress of students; and resource allocation.
“Although Liberia’s higher education system absorbs 30 percent of the public education budget, it is poorly equipped to meet an increase in demand,” the report said.