COVID-19 response

Allocation: US$7 million

Years: 2020-2021

Grant agent: UNICEF

Key documents:

The US$7 million COVID-19 grant supports:

  • Distance education platforms through radio, TV, SMS, online learning, and printed materials
  • Early childhood education curriculum and materials
  • Teaching and learning materials including for catch up classes and accelerated education programs
  • Psychosocial support to teachers, students and parents by establishing a help desk; and through disseminating messages via radio stations and talk shows
  • Health, well-being and nutrition for students, teachers and parents
  • Child protection and care by initiating a program to prevent abuse and exploitation, especially for girls
  • Gender-sensitive WASH facilities for vulnerable schools
  • Health kits for all schools and developing school health and well-being protocol
  • Accelerated learning based on revised school calendar
  • Community mobilization guidance for schools with a focus on back-to-school campaigns.

These initiatives are based on the Ministry of Education’s COVID-19 response plan.

In late March 2020, the UNICEF office in Liberia received a GPE grant of US$70,000 to support the Ministry of Education with airing radio lessons and purchasing radios to allow vulnerable children to have access to the programs.

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.

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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$11,900,000
Years: 2018-2022
Grant agent: World Bank
Disbursements: US$1,885,107

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


All amounts are in US dollars.

Grant type Years Allocations Disbursements Grant agent  
COVID-19 2020 7,000,000 0 UNICEF  
Program implementation 2018-2022 11,900,000 1,885,107 World Bank Progress report
2010-2016 40,000,000 40,000,000 World Bank Completion report
Sector plan development 2016-2017 499,202 500,000 World Bank  
Program development 2020 173,725 0 World Bank  
2016-2017 200,000 199,690 World Bank  
  Total 59,772,927 42,584,797    
Data last updated: July 27, 2020

GPE has also provided the National Education Coalition of Liberia with a grant from the Civil Society Education Fund, to support its engagement in education sector policy dialogue and citizens’ voice in education quality, equity, and financing and sector reform.

Education sector progress

The graphs below show overall progress in the education sector in Liberia, and GPE data shows the country progress on 16 indicators monitored in the GPE Results Framework.

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 (%)

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 June 25, 2020