A youth-oriented education agency, Youth Coalition for Education in Liberia (YOCEL), is urging the government through the Legislature to increase the country’s education budget by at least by 20 percent.
The 2018/19 draft budget currently under review by the legislature, allotted 14 percent to education, which has been strongly criticized by stakeholders.
YOCEL’s executive director, Beyan Flomo Pewee, termed 14 percent allocation as a drop in the ocean for a sector that has numerous challenges.
Pewee identified insufficient number of teachers, inadequate instructional materials, lack of good laboratory and libraries, lack of textbooks that should go in line with international standards as well as inadequate sitting capacity for the students.
He believes that until the government can bolster the education to 20 percent, it will be impossible to address the challenges which undermine quality education.
Mr. Pewee said that the ongoing campaigns were prompted by a research in 2017 which the Liberia Accountability and Voice Initiative (LAVI) conducted on the Political Economic Analysis of the country’s education sector. The research established that poor teaching quality and classroom learning relevance was the major and root causes of the education problems.
LAVI is improving the citizen-state relationship in Liberia by supporting coalitions and advocacy campaigns.
It is based on this report that LAVI, after a vigorous and competitive process, empowered YOCEL with its Youth in Education for Action Project with funding from USAID to ensure an increment in the country’s education budget.
The primarily focus of the project is to prevail on the lawmakers to allocate at least 20 percent of the national budget to education for speedy reform in the sector and to effect the luncheon declaration (2015) and the Dakar framework (2014), to which Liberia is a signatory.
YOCEL is implementing the Youth in Education for Action Project decided to take the advocacy to local education stakeholders, who are directly impacting the lives of the young people.