Right To Play (RTP), in international non-governmental organization, in partnership with the Ministry of Education (MOE), has launched a two-year pilot program called “Play for the Advancement of Quality Education” or PAQE in the country.
The program is an effort to address the educational needs for children and youth in Liberia, RTP Country Manager, Ms. Marie Josephine Kora-Thama told the Daily Observer.
The two-year program, which is budgeted at over US$1 million, is intended to contribute to the development of the educational system by creating a friendly environment where children can play and learn. It will come to an end by 2017.
At the National consultative workshop with education stakeholders, Ms. Kora-Thama said the program will increase the knowledge and skills of pre-primary and primary teachers, principals and school administrators to apply and support gender sensitive, child-centered, play-based learning in their respective schools.
The purpose of the consultations, she said, was to provide the platform for partners to contribute to the development of a robust and realistic Program Implementation Plan (PIP) for PAQE using a participatory approach that will ensure stakeholder engagement and ownership of the program.
According to Ms. Kora-Thama, PAQE will help improve life skills of girls and boys as a foundation for learning as well as increased community stakeholders to address barriers to education.
The program is also expected to increase knowledge and leadership skills of coaches to use sports and play-based methodologies in their various schools.
She disclosed further that the program will train teachers and provide support to school based groups, clubs, leagues and committees established at school with girls and boys as well as disabled children participating.
In addition, Ms. Kora-Thama, told participants that her institution will rely on the support of government to implement the project and help government solve some of the problems faced by the country’s education sector.
Mr. George Boakye-Yiadom, RTP Regional Officer, added that education is the single most important investment a country can make for the well-being of its citizens because it serves as a catalyst for sustainable change.
He said education helps stimulate economic growth; improve maternal, newborn and child health; deepens the foundations for good governance, stability and democracy; and empowers women and girls.
“Though there continues to be a persistent gender gap in education and inequalities in education content, methods and facilities exist, resulting in major differences in achievement for girls,” Mr. Yiadom observed.
He said when children, particularly girls, do not have the benefit of quality education; they cannot reach their full potential, because they are less able to contribute to the peaceful development of their families, communities and nations.
The PAQE program will directly address the educational needs of over two million vulnerable and marginalized children and youth through a two-year pilot quality education program in eight countries including Liberia.
Earlier, Assistant Education Minister Felecia Sackey Doe Somah thanked RTP for the program and promised the ministry’s full support.
Right To Play is an international humanitarian organization using sport and play to improve health, develop life skills, and foster peace for children and communities in some of the most disadvantaged areas of the world. It also trains local community leaders as coaches to deliver programs in countries affected by war, poverty, and disease in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.