Liberia has the world’s lowest literacy rate. Many poor families don’t have the means of sending their children to school. The public education system is poorly funded and, in many cases, dysfunctional, while most private schools charge high tuition fees that the majority of Liberians cannot afford. Many young people are thus unable to complete elementary school. Around 50 pupils are in a crowded classroom and, some students have to stand because of a lack of chairs.
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 in 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.
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 quality education they need to thrive and maximize their potentials. This means we will construct schools in remote villages 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.