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, the World Bank has disclosed.
According to a World Bank report, 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.
The World Bank is also partnering with the Liberian government to strengthen or improve the country’s education system.
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.”
It was reported 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.
“Mathematics and science teachers are severely under–represented and those in schools have not received any professional development or continued education since entering the service,” the report said.
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.
The MoE and partners spent a week in Ganta to jointly review the education sector in the statistics presented by the Bank; it was 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.
It also observed that technical and vocational education and training (TVET) institutions struggle to prepare students in demand of jobs or self–employment.
“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. “The higher education institutions have significant academic staffing and financial autonomy, yet they lack any governance of quality assurance and accountability.”
However, the ministry and its partners, shortly after the review, resolved to improve the gaps by making the education system the best.