The education system of Liberia lags behind many other African nations, due to the country’s prolonged and brutal civil wars and the 2014 school closure due to the Ebola outbreak.
Only a few schools remained open during the conflict, mainly in urban areas, leaving thousands of children out of school. The conflict also destroyed approximately 60 percent of school buildings, including water and sanitation facilities which are key to keeping children, especially girls, in school. Teachers fled the country or took up other forms of employment.
According to USAID, the Primary School Net Enrollment Rate, the percentage of primary age students attending elementary school grades, is only 44 percent. Schools are overpopulated. Supplies are limited. Teachers are not well trained or paid. While the Liberian Ministry of Education is trying to rebuild its educational structure and curricula, many children, especially orphans, lack access to education.
The financial predicament of many families also plays a factor into low school attendance rates. Even if education is free, parents must absorb hidden costs such as uniforms, pencils, supplies, and therefore, cannot afford to send their children to school.
For children who are enrolled in primary and secondary school, many are overage. In fact, the vast majority of Liberia’s students are older than the appropriate age for their grade and are therefore at high risk of dropping out. At present, overage enrollment is a consequence of the late entry into grade one and lack of enforcement of the age-appropriate enrolment policy.
Delano King Foundation works to help address the growing challenges that orphans and underprivileged children are facing. Our goal is to construct schools to provide free education to orphans and underprivileged children. We will provide educational and academic resources and tutoring to less fortunate children and orphans of Liberia to increase not only the literacy rates but also the number of Liberians who have had some formal education.
We envision an education system that expands opportunity for all students – but particularly for orphans and less fortunate students – and allows them to gain the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in society. The goal is to ensure all students receive elementary and high school education that equips them to succeed in college or career training program.
We know together we can accomplish so much more for orphans and less fortunate students in Liberia and across Africa. Our elementary through high school approach is driven by a direct focus on schools because that’s where the action of teaching and learning happens. An outstanding school—led by leaders who focus on continuous improvement —are what help students succeed most.
DKF is working within Liberia to help families in need and orphans receive an education. This is achieved through The Delano King Foundation Africa Orphans Initiative Scholarship, which empowers orphans by supporting the costs of their elementary and secondary education each year. Our end goal is to integrate these children into the community and inspire leadership.
Scholarship recipients include orphaned or bereaved students who demonstrate academic achievement and a strong potential to succeed. The scholarship also provides physical and spiritual mentorship, with the goal of helping students get support and assistance with their study of various subjects and establish a personal relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Your monthly support to our educational program will help ensure orphans and underprivileged children in Liberia receive free quality education they need to thrive and maximize their potentials. This means we will construct modern schools with updated technology and provide transportation to children who parents cannot afford paying transportation to get them to school. Students will also have access to healthy food, medical care, and 24/7 loving care they need to grow up happy and healthy. This is truly life-changing, and sadly, is not the norm in Liberia’s Education Systems.