USAID/Liberia, in concert with other donors, works with the Ministry of Education (MOE) to address access to education, quality of instruction, and improved governance of the Liberian education system. USAID education programs focus on improving the quality of teaching and learning (especially early grade reading) and increasing equitable access to safe learning opportunities for all learners, including students with disabilities, girls, and out-of-school youth. USAID programming also taps into the energy and dynamism of Liberia’s large youth population through a new activity that emphasizes developing the capacity of young Liberians to be key players in their country’s journey to self-reliance. USAID/Liberia’s education programming focuses on the six central counties with the largest populations (Bong, Grand Bassa, Lofa, Margibi, Montserrado, and Nimba).
YOUTH WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT SUPPORT
USAID is implementing the Youth Advance activity to increase the economic self-reliance and resiliency of Liberian youth in targeted areas of Grand Bassa, Lofa, and Montserrado counties. USAID Youth Advance will provide over 21,000 young people with the skills, experience, support, and relationships to productively engage with their local economies. The activity will assist nearly 8,000 youth to transition to employment or start an enterprise. To reach scale and sustainability, the activity will engage youth through all system’s actors, including market actors (employers and financial service providers), youth serving local organizations; and education actors (formal TVET, universities and community colleges).
USAID is also implementing the President’s Young Professionals Program (PYPP) to help prepare the next generation of Liberia’s civil service leaders. PYPP supports a cohort (Class IX) of 20 young, talented Liberian college graduates who have been placed in government ministries, national agencies, and private sector institutions on a 2-year fellowship. The activity balances the government’s immediate need for competent junior staff with the longer-term goals of increasing the capacity of the civil service and preparing a new generation of talented youth for leadership roles in government. With both public and private placements, this activity is developing a new generation of professionals who will enhance private sector investment, increase quality service delivery, and instill sustainable good governance practices in their hosting institutions.
EARLY GRADE READING
USAID is implementing the Read Liberia Activity to provide technical assistance to the MOE to improve early grade reading skills for 57,600 students in grades 1 and 2 in 640 schools and pilot a model for improving oral vocabulary for 2,700 kindergarten students 60 out of the 640 schools. The activity aims to increase the Liberian Government’s commitment to improve evidence-based reading instruction, provide teaching and learning materials, and improve early grade reading classroom instruction, service delivery, parent, community, and private sector support.
TEACHER PREPARATION SUPPORT
USAID is implementing the Transforming the Education System for Teachers and Students in Liberia (TESTS) activity to support the government of Liberia in improving the quality of teachers’ instruction in early childhood education and primary grades. TESTS will strengthen the capacity of targeted public, private, and faith-based teacher training institutions to train teachers who are able to deliver quality instruction; build critical skills for quality teaching; and improve the enabling environment for teaching practice. TESTS will work with eight teacher training institutions in USAID/Liberia’s six priority counties (Bong, Grand Bassa, Lofa, Margibi, Montserrado, and Nimba) to support two years of full-time study that lead to an associate degree or a bachelor’s degree for at least 3,500 teachers-aspirants. The activity will help address the gender imbalance in the teaching profession in Liberia by promoting female participation in the training program.
SCHOOL FEEDING PROGRAM SUPPORT
USAID is implementing the School Feeding Program II to provide food to all children in 52 USAID-supported schools in Bong and Montserrado counties, Liberia, reaching more than 19,000 students with a hot meal every school day. The activity partners with school feeding committees to provide school feeding in pre-primary, primary, and secondary schools. Providing targeted schools with daily meals addresses chronic classroom hunger and ensures better attendance and focus on the lessons which improves students’ chances to achieve their educational goals and a brighter future.