2018 – Liberia

Girls’ Accelerated Learning Initiative in Liberia

Partner: CODE 

Background

The UNDP Human Development Index rates Liberia as one of the most disadvantaged countries in the world, ranking it 177 out of 188. Almost all Liberian primary students – 82% – are too old for their grade. Girls, in particular, are more vulnerable and at greater risk of dropping out due to lack of self-esteem or because they are pulled into the labour market to financially support their family. Girls, in particular, are at risk due to early pregnancy, early marriage or repeated sexual harassment. Just 17.3% of adult women have reached at least a secondary level of education in Liberia.

CODE’s Girls Accelerated Learning Initiative (GALI) will establish an after-school girls’ learning program in 25 schools in Liberia, reaching a minimum of 15 girls in each school. This program will enable over-age girls in grades 1 to 3 to pursue an accelerated path towards a more age-appropriate grade level.

Carefully selected female teachers will be equipped by CODE to deliver this after-school girls’ program. It will offer safe learning environments where girls can improve their literacy and learn more about gender-specific topics such as hygiene, sex education and menstrual health management. With increased skills come greater self-esteem and self-reliance, empowering girls to take control of their own learning.

Project Objectives

The project will take place in Bomi, Grand Basa and Margibi counties. 60 million girls will invest $100,000 to support the scale-up of the program over a one-year period.

CODE will select teachers who will participate in the program from cohorts already trained in effective, interactive pedagogy, as part of Reading Liberia, to ensure that girls participating in the GALI will receive the best possible support.

The project will accelerate girls’ transition to an age-appropriate grade level. To support this transition, girls will be equipped with advanced, meaningful literacy skills. The program will motivate girls to remain in school due to increased self-esteem, knowledge and empowerment. Girls will develop improved hygiene and sexual and reproductive health practices. Over the long term, knowledge and practices will transfer from students and teachers to families and communities.

Ultimately, the girls will be empowered with a higher level of education and important health knowledge that will:

    1. support ongoing academic pursuits;
    2. equip them with skills for future employment;
    3. provide them with advanced literacy skills (problem solving and comprehension) so that they can make reasoned, more informed choices for themselves and their families.

Why partner with CODE?

For 58 years, CODE has implemented literacy and education programs in Africa (and in Liberia since 2008). It has worked to establish and ignite engaging learning environments through the development and publishing of locally-authored and designed children’s books, training teachers and teacher-librarians and resourcing libraries, as well as distributing significant numbers of high quality reading materials.

Together with local partners, CODE works to sustain the development of literacy in schools from kindergarten to Grade 12. Reading CODE combines two essential elements: interesting books that are relevant to the readers and written in languages the readers understand, and meaningful engagement with these books through high quality teaching.

CODE has previously partnered with 60 million girls when CODE generously provided e-books written by Sierra Leonean authors and illustrators to enrich the RACHEL content of our Mobile Learning Labs for use in Sierra Leone.