Education in Liberia

The education sector in Liberia faces a complex set of challenges related to rebuilding and recovery from civil war, constrained national finances, poor infrastructure and the Ebola epidemic. These challenges include poor learning outcomes, overage enrollment, huge number of out-of-school children, wasted government’s resources because of ‘ghost’ teachers and unskilled teachers, and many unqualified teachers.

On a systemic level, there are no national school quality standards and capacity and resourcing at county and district levels require improvement. The education sector also faces serious equity challenges including important geographic differences in access to quality education.

In order to address these challenges, Liberia has developed a strategic response in its Getting to Best Education Sector Plan for 2017 to 2021. The plan consists of 9 programs:

  1. Establishing effective school quality improvement and accountability systems,
  2. Improving the efficiency and performance of education management system,
  3. Improving access to quality early childhood education,
  4. Providing quality alternative and accelerated education pathways for overage and out-of-school children and young people,
  5. Improving the efficiency, effectiveness and satisfaction of the teaching workforce,
  6. Ensuring that teachers have access to quality instructional materials and assessment tasks,
  7. Mainstreaming gender and school health across the education sector,
  8. Improving the quality and relevance of technical and vocational education and training,
  9. Leveraging regional and international partnerships and expertise, targeting market demand for critical skills and increasing the efficiency of education expenditure.

Source: Getting to Best Education Sector Plan 2017-2021.

Blogs and news

Liberia's ministry of education in collaboration with UNICEF has rolled out a week-long workshop on early childhood development for elementary teachers in Gbarnga, Bong County.
Juliana, Bendu and Rumana, three girls living in GPE partner countries affected by fragility and conflict have one thing in common: they had to overcome several barriers to get a quality education....
A US$11.07 million grant from GPE will support Liberia's efforts to strengthen accountability in the education sector.

Latest grant

Development objective: Improve equitable access to early childhood education, teacher quality in early childhood education, and primary education in targeted disadvantaged counties, and strengthen National School Accountability Systems.
Allocation:US$11,070,000
Years:2018-2021
Grant agent:IBRD
Disbursements:US$0

A US$11.9 million grant was awarded in December 2017 to support Liberia’s “getting to best in education project” which aims to (i) improve equitable access to early childhood education (ECE) and teacher quality in ECE and in primary education in targeted disadvantaged counties, and (ii) to strengthen national school accountability systems.

The program is structured into five components which consist of:

  1. Improving the quality of and access to early childhood education in targeted disadvantaged counties through school improvement grants and community-based early childhood education,
  2. Supporting teacher training and certification in targeted disadvantaged counties by financing in-service teacher training programs for 700 unqualified ECE teachers and 700 unqualified primary teachers,
  3. Improving school management accountability and systems monitoring by providing support for the piloting of a school quality assessment tool, training and support for District of Education Offices staff for enhanced school inspection, and training for school principals for improved school management and quality,
  4. Addressing equity, efficiency and learning outcomes by using results-based financing modality with evidenced (i) increase in the proportion of qualified early childhood education and primary teachers, (ii) improvement in teacher payroll management, and (iii) establishment of a national primary student learning assessment system,
  5. Ensuring robust project management and facilitating sector program support, capacity building and coordination.

The World Bank serves as the grant agent.

Source: World Bank Project Appraisal Document of April 2017

Grants

All amounts are in US dollars.

Grant type Years Allocations Disbursements Grant agent  
Program implementation 2018-2021 11,070,000 - IBRD Progress report
2010-2016 40,000,000 40,000,000 IBRD Completion report
Sector plan development 2016 500,000 104,738 IBRD  
Program development 2016 200,000 83,361 IBRD  
  TOTAL 51,770,000 40,188,099    

Education sector progress

The graphs below show overall progress in the education sector in Liberia. For detailed results from GPE funding, please look for progress reports in the grants section.

Access

Primary completion rate (%)

Lower secondary completion rate

Out-of-school rate for children of primary school age

Out-of-school rate for adolescents of lower secondary school age

Pre-primary gross enrollment rate

Gender parity index for out-of-school rate – Primary and lower secondary

Public expenditure on education as share of GDP (%)

Public expenditure on education as a share of public expenditure (%)

Students/trained teacher ratio

Teachers trained (%)

Source: World Bank - Education Data
Data on education are compiled by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Institute for Statistics from official responses to surveys and from reports provided by education authorities in each country.

Last updated September 26, 2018