Liberia has made considerable progress towards securing peace, building the economy, and improving health services, infrastructure and development since the end of the 14-year civil war in 2003 and the 2014 Ebola outbreak. Like many African countries, Liberia benefits from a young population, with over half (60 per cent) of its people under the age of 24. With the right government policies, investments and strong technical support, Liberia’s children and adolescents can yield a ‘demographic dividend’ and contribute to this national vision. Schools for Africa (SFA) is a global initiative that was started by Peter Krämer and Nelson Mandela and which aims to achieve quality education across sub-Saharan Africa, ensuring that all children, including the most remote and marginalized children, are learning and gaining the skills to succeed in life and work. SFA convenes businesses, governments and individuals and has a proven track record in partnering with the private sector to achieve education results for children.
Apart from education programs for adults, improving the quality of education and children with disabilities, the Peter Krämer Foundation along with UNICEF has a strong focus on girl`s education.
Liberian girls suffer from grave human rights violations and experience significant barriers to education: 66 per cent of women aged 15 to 49 years have undergone genital cutting, and 36 per cent of women aged 20 to 24 are married by the age of 18, with nearly 9 per cent married by the age of 15. UNICEF Liberia supports the Ministry of Education’s ‘Gender Equitable Education Programme’ – which provides extra tutorials in core subjects, including English, Mathematics, Science, and life – in 42 schools across six counties. The student breakdown includes 60 per cent girls. UNICEF is addressing gender-based violence in schools by supporting girls’ clubs, providing technical and financial assistance for training on the National Girls’ Education Policy, and helping implement a Teacher Code of Conduct. Finally, UNICEF supports menstrual hygiene management by promoting separate latrines for girls and boys.
General impact and results
With a long track record of designing and implementing education programmes that create a positive impact on children, UNICEF sustainably drives the quality of education in Liberia. Additional investments through
Schools for Africa (SFA) in Liberia will contribute to emerging areas of work by extending early learning and accelerated school readiness programmes to the most disadvantaged. Specifically, by 2021, UNICEF plans
to scale up the adolescent empowerment programme to reach more than 10,000 adolescents in Liberia.