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Looking for information on the academic calendar?

Follow this link or download this document with the calendar dates. The Ministry is also printing and distributing the full calendar, which includes other information.

Ministry takes stock of reforms, plots course to stay strong in the last mile

Today, the Ministry of Education took stock of the impact of its wide-ranging reform effort and plotted its course to stay strong in the last mile prior to the change in administration in January 2018.

Beginning with the Education Sector Analysis (ESA), the Ministry has developed a comprehensive plan to overhaul the education system and improve the quality of education provided to Liberian children. The ESA formed the basis of the Getting to Best Education Sector Plan (G2B-ESP), which is aimed at improving student learning outcomes, and equipping young people with the necessary skills for livelihoods and employment. The Ministry noted that it has completed the Annual Operational Plan for the G2B-ESP and that implementation began on July 1, 2017.

The Ministry also detailed the progress in developing and preparing for the implementation of the Getting to Best Project 2017 – 2021, which will target disadvantaged counties where there are high levels of poverty and child stunting and a low proportion of qualified teachers. Key activities include early childhood education (ECE) grants, training for community-based ECE caregivers in remote areas, completion of certificates for unqualified ECE and primary teachers, training and certification for school principals, and annual monitoring visits. The project has been submitted to the GPE Board for approval and, with positive technical recommendations made to date, is expected to begin implementation in December 2017.

The Ministry recapped the successful implementation of the Global Partnership for Education Grant for Basic Education Project (GPE-BEP), which concluded in October 2016. Key deliverables included the construction of 41 schools with 303 classrooms and the procurement of over 1 million textbooks, 20,000 teachers’ guides for grades 5–9, over 1 million supplementary readers for grades 1–4, and 1.4 million instructional materials for grades 1–9, 98% of which were distributed.

The Ministry also detailed the success of its payroll cleaning and teacher vetting initiative, which has gained international attention. 12,131 teachers have been vetted and 12,853 tested across 10 of 15 counties, with the remaining five counties set to be completed soon. The project identified 1,547 “ghost” teachers in the first 10 counties, and the Ministry has worked with Human Resources and Liberia’s Civil Service Agency to remove these names from the government payroll. In doing so the Ministry has so far recouped USD $2,638,618 per year in efficiency savings, 7.5% of the Ministry’s total payroll budget. These funds are being used to hire and deploy qualified teachers as direct replacements for those removed.

The Ministry also noted its progress in developing a framework for School Quality Assessment (SQA), with the purpose of monitoring improvement in school quality from early childhood education (ECE) to senior high school. The focus of the framework is to regulate and guide supervisors and inspectors in the discharge of their duties and to provide tools to ensure adequate data collection for timely decision-making. The data collected will also facilitate the provision of objective feedback to school administrators and teachers.

The Ministry also took stock following the first year of the Partnership Schools for Liberia (PSL) program, which is aimed at testing new models for improving Liberia’s public schools. Through PSL the Ministry has partnered with eight educational providers, each with different models but all with proven experience delivering quality education and improving learning outcomes. During the first year, these 8 providers have operated 94 schools in 13 counties across Liberia, providing free, quality education to more than 27,000 students. Initial results show encouraging improvements in enrollment, teacher behavior, and student performance at PSL schools, and a rigorous independent assessment is due to be released in the next month. In the meantime, the Ministry recapped its plans to move forward with a modest increase in the number of PSL schools in the coming school year, prioritizing increasing presence in disadvantaged regions such as the south-east during the second year of the pilot.

Given the substantial progress that has been made over recent years and the upcoming change in administration, the Ministry has also turned its focus towards sustainability. The Ministry noted that it is establishing an Education Delivery Unit (EDU) to ensure that a high-performing team is in place to plan and monitor the implementation of the Ministry’s priority reforms. The EDU’s central aim is to ensure that progress toward educational improvements is optimized through the final months of the current administration and that momentum for quality reform is maintained into the next administration.

Finally, the Ministry announced the release of the Academic Calendar for the 2017/2018 school year, noting that schools will open on 4 September 2017. The full calendar will be posted to the Ministry of Education’s website: www.moe.gov.lr.

Contact: press@moe.gov.lr or +231 777 403 676

Download this press release.

Ministry congratulates Strongheart scholarship awardees

The Ministry of Education has welcomed the announcement that two young Liberians have been awarded scholarships to attend world-class universities. Mr Alphanso Appleton and Ms Lovetta Conto are the first recipients of a new scholarship program supported by The Strongheart Group, a non-government organization based in the United States.

The new Strongheart ‘Bridge’ scholarships are designed to support students coming from difficult circumstances who earn partial scholarships or tuition-only scholarships. The scholarships ‘bridge’ the remaining cost gap and include all living, travel and study materials expenses.

“We’ve seen too many young people work hard for admission to competitive universities, only to have to turn down the opportunity due to a shortfall of funding,” explained Zoe Adams, CEO of The Strongheart Group. “For a young person in this situation, a partial scholarship can be heartbreaking, since the gap between what is needed and what is given is so great. We want to support young people from challenging backgrounds to develop into world-class leaders, and we recognize that we must commit to the full cost of their education.”

Both scholarship recipients were chosen based on their exceptional achievements – after being accepted into top schools and winning tuition scholarships. Ms Conto has been an advocate for refugee children’s rights, attending The African Leadership Academy, meeting with the Dalai Lama, and speaking to the global community through the media and international publications. Mr Appleton is a young photographer and artist whose work documents the culture and landscape of Liberia. His photographs have appeared in international magazines and media outlets, and include an iconic shot of Liberians celebrating news of the successful trials of a vaccine for Ebola Virus Disease.

The two scholars have been accepted into prestigious institutions in New York. Ms. Conto will be attending The New School, Parsons School of Design, and Mr Appleton will be studying at the International Center of Photography.

Minister of Education George K. Werner congratulated the scholarship winners: “These scholarships constitute a wonderful investment in the most important capital for any country: human capital. We are proud that two ambitious young Liberians have been chosen and look forward to their return to work alongside us in continuing to build Liberia – as President Sirleaf has put it, in this post-conflict period, to ‘build back better’.”

Contact: press@moe.gov.lr or +231 777 403 676

Contact at The Strongheart Group: Ms Cori Shepherd Stern, info@strongheartgroup.org

Download the announcement as a PDF.

Ministry honors Grade 12 students, commends teachers

The Ministry of Education has honored sixteen students who achieved Division II results in the Liberian Senior High School Certificate Examinations.

In recognition of their excellent performance, the Ministry presented the students with an award of a Government of Liberia scholarship for any undergraduate course to which they are accepted at a Liberian university or college.

The Minister of Education, George K. Werner, congratulated the students on their achievements, saying: “What we celebrate today are the well-earned results of hard work over months and years. Academic excellence is the product of both dedicated study on a student’s part, and the professional excellence of many teachers over many years. Supporting these students have been many well-qualified, skilled, and well-supported teachers, as well as school administrators, and parents and families. Today we commend these students, their teachers and schools, and their families.”

These comments reflected local and international evidence on the importance of building and supporting a strong teaching workforce, which is a fundamental component of Ministry reforms.

The West African Examinations Council, which administers the national examinations for Grade 12 students, recently released the results for Grade 12 school candidates. 16 students – 10 female and 6 male – achieved Division II results. Though it is no surprise to see girls and young women performing strongly, the Ministry has welcomed their achievements as a demonstration of the potential of all young women. The Ministry is proud to support young women to fulfill that potential.

Ministry staff also took the opportunity to remind members of the public that scholarships for both local and international study are always publicly advertised, and are always awarded on the basis of merit. Scholarships are advertised through local County and District Education Offices, at higher education institutions, and by the Ministry (including on the Ministry’s website and Facebook page).

Contact: press@moe.gov.lr or +231 777 403 676

–ENDS–

Download the public announcement.