Liberia: Public Primary Students Benefit from USAID-funded printed Civic Education Textbooks Distribution

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Monrovia – More than 1,800 Liberian students in 15 primary schools across Gbarpolu, Montserrado, and Nimba Counties now have civics textbooks, thanks to the USAID-funded Elections and Democracy Activity (EDA). In cooperation with the Ministry of Education in its commitment to reintroduce civics education in schools after a thirty-year absence, this project is implemented by Democracy International (DI) together with local partner UMOVEMENT.

From November 7 to 17, 2022, DI and UMOVEMENT distributed the books to all children in grades 1 to 6 for those schools identified in this first learning phase. The project will scale up over the next two academic years to include more schools in more counties, eventually reaching 10% of all primary students in Liberia before handing the project over to the Ministry of Education for expansion to the whole country.

The first schools to benefit from the book distribution this month are: William D. Coleman Public School, Vonzon Public School, Zannah Town Public School, Nyehn #1 Public School, and Koon Town Elementary and Jr High School in Montserrado County; Bombomma Public School, Henry Town Public School, Beh-Yomo Public School, Zuo Public School, and Hilton-Duodee Public School in Gbarpolu County; and William R. Tolbert Public School, Flumpa Public School, Kpallah Public School, Whinpa Public School, and Yasonnah Public School in Nimba County.

EDA and UMOVEMENT staff first delivered the textbooks to the respective County Education Officers. These Ministry of Education staff then joined the project team to hand deliver the books to students in the schools, alongside the town and paramount chiefs, District Electoral Officers, school principals, teachers, parents, and Parent-Teacher Associations. Receiving the books in Gbarpolu County, the Resident District Education Officer of Bopolu lauded the distribution describing it as the first time in the history of the country that civics textbooks are in the hands of students: This book distribution is very important, and we really appreciate USAID, DI, and UMOVEMENT for this gesture. This is a first for Liberia. We studied civics when we were children before it was dropped from the curriculum, but we never had textbooks like these students do now through the kind gesture of USAID. DI’s Chief of Party Stephanie Lynn joined the distribution teams at Flumpa Public School in Nimba and Beh-Yomo Public School in Gbarpolu. Madam Lynn also met with DEOs and school administrators during the visits to express DI’s gratitude to the Ministry of Education and the local school authorities for their strong cooperation on the shared project.

The Election and Democracy Activity (EDA), made possible by the generous support of the American people through USAID, is a five-year project that seeks to work with the National Elections Commission, (NEC), Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), and the Government of Liberia (GOL) to cultivate accountable elected representatives who govern in the interest of their constituents by building a diverse and an inclusive cadre of representative leaders and active citizens who demand accountability. Democracy International implements EDA through three interrelated objectives: (1) increase leadership of marginalized groups in political processes, (2) improve civic knowledge and sense of civic duty and (3) advance self-reliance of the NEC and civil society organizations to independently manage and observe all stages of the electoral cycle. Inquiries: Varney G. Karneh, Civic Education Program Lead, Elections and Democracy Activity (EDA) Phone: 0776324815, Email: [email protected] or Varnetta Johnson Freeman Civic Education Program Officer, Elections and Democracy Activity (EDA)

The book distribution is made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents of this press release are the responsibility of Democracy International and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID, or the United States Government.

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