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:
- Establishing effective school quality improvement and accountability systems,
- Improving the efficiency and performance of education management system,
- Improving access to quality early childhood education,
- Providing quality alternative and accelerated education pathways for overage and out-of-school children and young people,
- Improving the efficiency, effectiveness and satisfaction of the teaching workforce,
- Ensuring that teachers have access to quality instructional materials and assessment tasks,
- Mainstreaming gender and school health across the education sector,
- Improving the quality and relevance of technical and vocational education and training,
- Leveraging regional and international partnerships and expertise, targeting market demand for critical skills and increasing the efficiency of education expenditure.
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.
Primary Gross Enrollment Rate (%)
Primary Completion Rate (%)
Lower Secondary Completion Rate (%)
Out-of-school Children Rate (%)
Public Expenditure on Education as Share of GDP (%)
Public Expenditure on Education as a Share of Public Expenditure (%)
Public Expenditure on Primary as a Share of Total Education Expenditure (%)
Student/Trained teacher ratio
Teachers Trained (%)
GPE in Liberia
A US$ 11.07 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:
- Improving the quality of and access to early childhood education in targeted disadvantaged counties through school improvement grants and community-based early childhood education,
- 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,
- 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,
- 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,
- 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
Before the recently approved GPE grant of US$ 11.07 million, Liberia was awarded a US$ 40 million grant in 2010 to support a program which focused on strengthening management capacity and accountability in the education sector. The US$ 40 million grant has contributed to significant results including:
- 303 classrooms in 41 schools were constructed and furnished, and 72 housing units for teachers were completed,
- Standardized school construction guidelines were approved by the ministry of education.
- 1 million textbooks and 20,000 teachers’ guides for grades 5 to 9 in mathematics, science, social studies and language arts, and more than 1 million supplementary reading books for grades 1 to 4, and about 1.4 million instructional materials for grades 1 to 9 were procured, out of which 98% were distributed to schools,
- 2,579 schools developed school grant utilization plans, opened school bank accounts and received school grants totaling US$ 2.4 million and benefiting 483,565 students.