World Bank Approves US$47M Grant to Improve Secondary Education in Liberia

The IRISE project will focus on improving the quality of secondary education services; increasing accessibility to and completion of senior secondary education, especially for adolescent girls.

The World Bank Board of Executive Directors on Tuesday, July 2, approved an International Development Association (IDA)* grant of $47 million equivalent for Improving Results in Secondary Education (IRISE) project for Liberia.

The IRISE project will focus on improving the quality of secondary education services; increasing accessibility to and completion of senior secondary education, especially for adolescent girls. It will help upgrade the quality of the teaching workforce; make textbooks more accessible to students; and provide opportunities for learning digital skills. Given the high incidence of violence perpetuated in and around schools, the project will also address and prevent gender-based violence (GBV) by engaging school and local communities to enable a safer and more supportive schooling environment.

“This project is aligned with the Bank’s Country Partnership Framework and Liberia’s Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development, identifying Human Capital Development goals for the vulnerable in society. I am glad that young people, particularly girls, have been targeted to benefit from quality secondary education and skills development,” said World Bank Liberia Country Manager Larisa Leshchenko.

The project supports the government’s efforts to increase equitable access to senior secondary education, particularly for girls and those living in poor and rural areas and, ensures that young people can benefit from quality education that is relevant to the labor market.

“The IRISE project takes a system approach to address critical foundational issues and challenges facing the secondary education level in the country. Secondary education is linked to the labor market and enables individuals’ further learning to become productive, engaged citizens in society. This IDA investment will support Liberia to strengthen education system capacity at the secondary level, furthering the human development agenda set out by the government for Liberia’s socioeconomic advancement,” say Co-Task Team Leaders Xiaonan Cao and Oni Lusk-Stover.

Key components of this project include improving access and the learning environment at the senior secondary level through school construction and expansion, school rehabilitation and renovation with a community empowerment approach; and increasing opportunities for girls to transition to and complete senior secondary education. Under this component, scholarships will be provided to girls in counties with the highest female dropout rates at the senior secondary level. Four counties with the highest female dropout rates at the senior secondary level– Bomi, Gbarpolu, Grand Bassa and Sinoe – have been targeted for the Girls’ Education Scholarship Program. The Project will promote community engagement to empower young people, schools and communities to create safe learning environments. This is aimed at building positive interactions and relationships, as well as awareness on the benefit of educating women and girls.

On improving the quality of teaching in senior secondary education, the project will build the capacity of the William V.S. Tubman Teachers’ College at the University of Liberia to take the leadership in upgrading teacher education and in-service teacher training in the country, producing qualified teacher graduates who have the required content knowledge and pedagogic skills to effectively impart learning in the classroom and equip their students with 21st century skills for Liberia’s future development.

The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing grants and low to zero-interest loans for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 75 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change to the 1.5 billion people who live in IDA countries. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 113 countries. Annual commitments have averaged about $18 billion over the last three years, with about 54 percent going to Africa.


  1. It will not be effectively used. Most in the current government don’t know about education.
    Digital Instructors could massively be used in these areas?
    God bless.

  2. Those in the previous government knew about education when Liberia made the Guinness Book of Record, so to speak, for the worst mass failure in a University admission exam; explain that?

    On a serious note, secondary school education is the preparatory pool for a country’s human capital. But ours remains backward and underdeveloped because, like most challenges related to efficiency and productivity, we don’t prioritize it. Let’s do better, folks, education empowers, no kidding.

    • And that seemingly gloomy condition continues to beset and shackle us all because of inconvertible “tribalists” like you, Mr. Baghdad Moses. People who, rather than harness and adopt the requisite available resources and strategies to reverse that imperiling situation, always use past errors of others as alibi or justification for any present folly. Is the past no longer a lesson to advice for present and future undertakings? More importantly, did this CDC government not catalogue all those previous missteps as reason why it should be given the chance to head state power, and in order to correct those very deficiencies? “Two years too short to correct all those blights,” is the usual refrain to those questions, etc., which we anticipate in these discussions all the time. As if we are so irrational to not see or understand genuine efforts or initiatives toward that end, if that were the case. It’s not so much the years or time, but the demonstrated attempt/capacity or lack thereof that is frustrating the populace in that regard. The Liberian people, as pacifist and forgiven as they are, would be the first to defend this so-called government with their usual mantra, “your gih the man chance,” but even heaven has limits or tolerance just so far.

  3. Take it easy here, brother Snyder, on Uncle Moses. i think we are all on the same side here. A herculean effort has to be put in place for us to leave from the quagmire we find ourselves in, most, especially in the area of education.Many factors contribute to that, and we all know most of the factors. So, to me, the challenge is, how can we attract qualified to come back to the public schools? The average Liberian high school student cannot write a fitting letter of application, let alone just find the time to read a book, just for the pleasure of reading a book. No, i am not blaming them at all, because, they too, have to find food to eat when they come from school.The problem is mind boggling, but it can be done. So, we hope with fingers crossed, that the higher-ups will do the right things with that money.

    • Yap, Joe Moses.
      It’s hard to sometimes disagree with you and your uncle. Very hard.
      Let me share my perspective on this hot topic of Education. It goes like this……The Liberian public schools need a curriculum. To put that another way, the public schools need an overhaul.

      Let’s say you drink coke everyday. You’re familiar with the taste of coke. Right? Okay. So here comes July 26. You and uncle are barbecuing under the tree. You grap your ice cold regular drink of coke. But all of a sudden this time, while drinking your coke, the taste of coke has changed. Instead of drinking coke, you’re drinking grape fanta. Is that realistic?

      Remember, Jesus turned “water into wine” during a wedding ceremony at Cana. But, Joe, Jesus is not here with us in the flesh! You cannot say the taste of your regular drink changed to grape fanta because Jesus did it while barbecuing under the tree with your uncle. That will be a hard sell, if not an impossible sell.

      The Bottom Line:
      By doing the “same old, same old” every year, school administrators cannot expect a different result. In order for students to do well on their standardized exams, different strategies to improve the quality of schools are needed. You cannot drink coke all the time and expect grape fanta to appear in your glass. If you want a grape fanta, buy it. If you want schools to improve, the old strategy must change.

      • Who could disagree or find fault with such anecdotal opinion? After all, it epitomizes exactly what Liberians expect and estimate of their leaders, an attempt, honest attempt at resolving those problems that have shackled them for over a century and half. But the depression and disenchantment set in when the people who suppose to garner the efforts and resources to reverse that abhorrent trend, resort to using those very past deficiencies and indiscretions as excuses and justification as to why they too, cannot fix those problems. That begs the question, what then is the reason or need for electing different people in leadership when they’ll keep reminding us that we are stuck in neutral, on account of the missteps of previous leaders. Seriously?

  4. My people, I don’t know if this is going to a miracle or inseanity. The same people who had screwed up the system are the same people are in charge of money that is in now to upgrade the system. Yes, right. Lets wait and see. (Not sermon, just a thought)

  5. Brother Hney, as usual, your perspective is flawless. No disagreement here. i remembered a while back, the then assistant minister Mator Kpangbai dismissed almost 200 teachers because they lacked certain qualifications. There was no strategy put in place when those teachers were dismissed. a huge vacuum was created and it has not been filled since then.i would give a million dollars to know what his thoughts were when he took such a drastic steps. Not that I have a million dollars, but still, measures should have been put in place to continue the schooling for the students. It is my understanding that some schools were affected because of that action the ministry took. And here we are again today, still talking about the educational system and how broken down it is. is there any hope in sight for us as a people? I despair.

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