Allocation: US$7 million
Grant agent: UNICEF
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:
- 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.
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The GPE grant of US$5.9 million funds the Liberia Learning Foundations Project, which aims to support investments in quality early childhood education services while furthering equity, efficiency and learning outcomes.
The GPE program focuses on the following components:
- Improving access to early childhood education in targeted counties marked by high poverty and low learning outcomes through:
- Construction of classrooms, latrines and water systems
- Provision of teaching and learning materials
- Accelerated education for overage students
- Improving learning outcomes through increased equity, efficiency and accountability by:
- Further incentivizing a culture of qualified teachers
- Strengthening teacher workforce management
- Implementing student learning assessments
- Strengthening project management and sector program support and coordination, with a focus on engaging education stakeholders and enabling continuous sector monitoring.
The US$11.9 million grant supports the Liberia’s “getting to best in education project”. 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
- 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.
Source: Program document
All amounts are in US dollars.
|Grant type||Years||Allocations||Utilization||Grant agent|
|Program implementation||2021-2024||5,900,000||2,926,752||WB||Progress report|
|Sector plan development||2020-2022||700,000||700,000||UNESCO|
As part of its investment in civil society advocacy and social accountability efforts, GPE’s Education Out Loud fund is supporting the National Education Coalition of Liberia (NECOL) for the 2019-2021 period.
This builds on 11 years of Civil Society Education Fund (CSEF) support to national education coalitions for their engagement in education sector policy dialogue.
GPE had provided the National Education Coalition of Liberia (NECOL) with a grant from the CSEF to support its engagement in education sector policy dialogue and citizens’ voice in education quality, equity, and financing and sector reform.