(2020 – 2022)
This new and innovative two-year program called Reading Liberia 2020-2022 builds on CODE’s considerable efforts in Liberia over the past decade as well as our response to the extended school closures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
As a post-conflict country, Liberia suffers from widespread poverty and has one of the lowest human development index scores in the world. This is compounded by staggeringly low literacy rates among young people aged 15-24 years old – only 65% for males and 45% for females can read. This is a significant contributing factor to low educational attainment, high levels of unemployment and lack of sustainable livelihoods.
Reading Liberia 2020-2022, implemented in partnership with the WE-CARE Foundation will help 40 poorly resourced schools in three counties, 180 teachers and vice principals, 4,000 students and 375 over-aged girls (11-18 year olds but who are only in grades 1-2 and a high risk of dropping out). All teachers and vice-principals will participate in extensive training and in-class coaching to gain the skills necessary to create student-centered learning environments in their classrooms.
Over the next two years, 16,000 books developed specially for the Reading Liberia program will be distributed to schools that have almost no books for children to read and enjoy. These books have been written and illustrated by Liberians and published with support from CODE. They take into account the Liberian primary school curriculum and aim to be gender transformative – challenging gender stereotypes and depicting strong, capable girls and women.
While schools are closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, CODE is distributing learning kits to the over-aged girls at home to keep them engaged in learning. These kits contain reading books, workbooks, masks, pencils, hand sanitizer and sanitary products. Once schools reopen, over-aged girls will receive academic support and life skills education from teachers with specialized training. A select group of these girls will have access to mobile learning labs and get to use tablets. CODE will also be commissioning a study to understand the impact digital technologies on cognitive and non-cognitive learning outcomes for over-aged primary school girls.