Decades of poor governance and civil war left Liberia’s education system in ruins. Infrastructure, systems, policies, and human and material resources were destroyed, which caused Liberia to fall decades behind the rest of the world.
USAID supports the Ministry of Education with programs critical to rebuilding the education system, focusing primarily on increasing equitable access to education and improving the quality of instruction. Early childhood education is also important to long-term educational goals. In one USAID pilot literacy program, second- and third-grade pupils made spectacular gains in reading speed and comprehension and increased their recognition of unfamiliar words by over 700 percent. The President of Liberia has called for the program to be extended to all schools in the country.
USAID supports teacher training and curriculum development to improve quality of education. In 2010, USAID programs helped over 1,000 teachers earn their certificates and join the workforce, and trained an additional 4,500 teachers. USAID also provides support to over 300 parent-teacher associations to execute small projects in their schools and to increase community support for education, especially among girls.
In 2008, USAID began addressing higher education needs, focusing on improving the quality and relevance of academic programs most critical to Liberia’s development challenges. Through innovative alliances between Liberian and U.S. universities and the public sector, USAID provided a blueprint for the modernization of the University of Liberia’s student records system, built the capacity of health training institutions, and laid the groundwork for higher education centers in agriculture and engineering to foster the next generation of Liberian professional.
Youth and Workforce Development
Formal and informal education programs equip Liberian youth and adults with basic literacy, numeracy, life and work readiness skills. This is especially important for those whose schooling has been disrupted by conflict.
Last updated: May 10, 2013