Bridge School Liberia (BSL) says although detractors are demeaning the efforts of educators, parents, teachers, and partners alike in the management of their school system, the entity remains committed to improve the schools which the Ministry of Education (MoE) has assigned to it in the pilot project.
“Bridge PSL intends to keep the public informed about the progress and (activities) to increase learning outcomes. We value, respect, and celebrate the incredible benefits of education to all Liberians,” Bridge Academies International (BIA) Communications director, Lloa Bass-Golokeh, told this newspaper in a recent interview.
The over-age enrolment statistics in Liberia increased due to years of civil war which crippled families and communities causing limited access to primary education.
Golokeh quoted Harry Patrinos, World Bank Global Manager for Education, who said some 82 percent of Liberian students in primary school exceed the age for their grade.
“As the country continues to pick up the pieces and make great strides towards putting its citizens, children, and communities first, the Bridge Partnership seeks to aid in the education initiative,” she said.
It believes that one group, one person, or one government cannot revolutionize the education system, rather partnerships to create an even space for stakeholders’ involvement to actively pair minds to provide the best possible outcomes for the Liberian children and their future.
Bridge International Academies join Partnership Schools for Liberia to radically improve primary and nursery education in Liberia
About the partnership
The Liberian education system is in crisis. Decades of civil war and the recent Ebola epidemic have left 42 percent of children out of school. Only 20 percent of children enrolled in primary school complete secondary school and 50 percent of children are joining school 3 to 6 years late.
A Liberian girl has a higher chance of being married before the age of 18 than being able to read.
Background and Overview of the Pilot Project
After more than a decade of civil war, post-conflict stress, and the Ebola health crisis in 2014-2015, Liberia’s children have a right to quality education that is unrealized.
The provision of this right is the responsibility of the government. Without a radical change in the existing strategy of the government, it is unlikely that a child’s right to quality education will be actualized.
This agreement is the first part of a Pilot Project to serve up to 120 Liberian public schools. This project is part of a wider Public-Private Partnership initiative (PPP), the Partnership Schools for Liberia (PSL).
In keeping with the MoE memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed with the BIA, schools will be managed with autonomy within existing laws to deliver on improved learning gains.
The MOE & Bridge agreement covers 50 public schools, which remain under government control, for which parents are not charged for tuition or school services.
The government partners with the BIA because of the entity’s proven success with school management, teacher support, and instructional materials that together deliver the needed results of students attaining quality education.