A group of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in Lofa, Bong, and Grand Gedeh counties working in the education sector are developing a result-based strategy that will enable them advocate for improved classroom learning relevance and teaching quality, a release has said.
The knowledge exchange exercise, which imparts skills and ways of developing proposals for education advocacy, started recently in Voinjama, Lofa County. It is currently ongoing in Gbarnga, Bong County, having begun March 22. It is also scheduled for Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County, on March 28-29.
According to the release, the USAID Liberia Accountability and Voice Initiative (LAVI) is supporting education advocacy interventions, which are expected to commence soon at both national and county levels.
LAVI partner organization DEN-L is leading the county-level capacity building exercise, targeting eight CSOs. Three CSOs with a record of advocacy will be selected from Lofa and Bong counties separately, and two from Grand Gedeh County.
Another group of seven CSOs will also advocate at the national level for the implementation of the National Education Act and increased budgetary allotment to improve teaching quality and classroom learning relevance. The ongoing capacity building arrangement seeks to address gaps identified by the CSOs from within their respective communities regarding the manner and form in which students are learning, and the teaching approach.
So far, lack of accountability, proper and effective form of communication in classroom teaching, low advocacy for budgetary support in the County School Systems have come to the attention of participants during the deliberations.
The CSOs are encouraged to develop realistic proposals, to tackle these challenges using approaches of clearly defined scopes, targeted audience, and strong advocacy messages, among others. Some CSOs have already shown high enthusiasm and are urging Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs), and the school and county education boards to act effectively to monitor and guide teaching quality and learning in classrooms.
Others said they have planned to make their voices louder on budgetary support; commitment to promoting accountability, while the majority spoke about encouraging adherence and amendment to public policy issues to reflect current realities in the education sector in their respective counties.
Most participants expressed delight for being a part of the deliberation because of the new skills they are acquiring in identifying intricate problems in the education sector, and ways to apply practical solutions to address them.
LAVI, a five-year USAID funded project implemented by Development Alternatives Incorporated (DAI), is specifically focused on strengthening multi-stakeholders’ partnerships, to advocate for and monitor policy and accountability reforms in Liberia.
The project runs until 2020, and is leading campaigns at both national and county-levels on Natural Resource Management (NRM) policy reform issues, including the County Social Development Funds (CSDF). Education was later included into the project activities after it supported a national survey to obtain citizens’ perception on major issues trending in Liberia.