Ahead of the 73rd United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, which has revealed an increase of over 6 percent in the number of girls not in primary school, Bridge-Liberia has embarked on a campaign dubbed Girls Supper Power in Liberia.
The campaign is intended to draw the attention of policymakers, to prioritize girls’ education, and to give more support as well as ensuring girls’ empowerment.
The campaign, which was officially launched on Thursday, September 20, under the theme, “Using Education as a Tool for Girls’ Empowerment,” brought together Bridge students, administrators, and panelists at the Kendeja Elementary school, outside Monrovia.
At the start of the program, Bridge-Liberia Deputy Country Director Joe Gbasakollie classified inequality of girls’ education as a social problem which impedes the learning process of girl-children in the country.
Gbasakollie said discrimination in girls’ education is as a result of “the inability of underprivileged parents to provide equal education for their children.”
He said based on such prevailing situations, the partnership school decided to ensure equal education for girls of school-going age in the country.
Mr. Gbasakollie said that the new campaign will focus on Science and Technology as well as Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) skills for girls.
He said that STEM skills are traditionally seen as a male-dominated subject in middle-income countries, something which Gbasakollie said is paramount to girls’ competing with the boys.
The campaign further highlighted how young girls in underprivileged communities are pursuing their dreams of becoming doctors, engineers, and mathematicians, in spite of many challenges.
Mr. Gbasakollie stressed the need for a capable and affordable module of education, which could use technology in those countries Bridge currently operates, including Liberia.
“Recent statistics have shown that kids attending Bridge schools are learning better and are far ahead of students in other neighboring schools. This report means Liberian students are now in line with their colleagues in other parts of the world,” he said.
Due to the content of this report, he said that the level of education provided to children in Bridge schools has delighted parents who are now grateful to the program.
Bridge has over the years supervised at least 68 schools out of a total of 194 schools that run another project under the LEAP program in 10 of the 15 counties.
Mrs. Lorpu Manneh, Director of Girls’ Education Division at the Ministry of Education (MoE), said the program is paramount to the growth and development of a nation, “because when girls are educated, they give hope to the society at large.”
Among the panelists at the event was Madam Isata Ville Cheeks, the coordinator of National Social Security Corporation (NASSCORP) who is also a public educator. Madam Cheeks encouraged girls to make better use of their talents by creating a change for themselves in order to make Liberia proud to the outside world.
Cheeks cautioned young females to overcome challenges as they pursue future goals.