By: J-Karba Williams
The Deputy Minister of Education for Planning and Research, Alton Kesselly, says the interventions of the United States of America in the Liberian educational sector is laudable and a clear indication of the United States International Development (USAID) commitment to work with the government of Liberia.
Deputy Minister Kesselly made the assertion when he launched the ‘Read Liberia Activity Program’ for grades one and two students for six schools in Bong, Grand Bassa, Margibi and Nimba counties by USAID. The launch coincided with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding(MOU) to support the Liberia’s educational sector.
Deputy Minister Kesselly assured USAID of the ministry’s commitment to sustaining the program, adding that the MOU signed between the ministry and USAID to support Liberia’s through the ‘Read Liberia Program’ would go a long way.
The Director of USAID Mission in Monrovia,Anthony Chan, said recent assessment of Liberian students at early grade levels shows that the students are reading on an average of 14.6 words per minute saying that it is very low as compared to the international benchmark of 45 to 60 words per minute.
According to Dr. Chan, the ‘Read Liberia Activity’ has targeted training teachers, improving their skills and techniques to deliver early grade reading instructions in selected schools.
He said the ‘Read Liberia Activity’ is rolled out with 57,000 grade one and grade two in 60 public primary schools in the six counties in Liberia participating, adding that 1,280 grade one and two teachers and sixty kindergarten schools have been trained to help young students develop their reading skills.
The Monrovia USAID Mission Office Directorthanked authorities of the Ministry of Education for the success Liberia has achieved thus far, adding “we believed that ultimately, our success require extensive and concrete community engagement with local traditional authorities,parents, teachers’ association, school management committee and other structures.
Furthermore, Dr. Chan stated that USAID remains committed to supporting Liberia’s education sector, noting that the‘Read Liberia Activity’ program is intended to bring up the speed of grade students in Liberia to be good students and writers.