Liberia: Educational Group to Pilot “Transformative Education” in five Schools in Montserrado County

Officials of KEEP, representative of Oxfam along with MOE officials posed with the banner after the launch of the transformative education pilot project

Monrovia – With support from Oxfam, the Kids Educational Engagement Project (KEEP) has launched the Transformative Education, beginning with five schools in Montserrado County.

KEEP is a local non-profit organization that operates in Liberia with a focus on providing educational support to children in various communities across the country.

KEEP seeks to promote social justice and the development of vulnerable children and youths by strengthening their capacities.

Unlike traditional education, the launch of transformative education will improve students’ skills in understanding contemporary society, or the kinds of capacities children need to develop.  

The Bahr Town Public School, Millsbury Public School, Arthington Public School, June L. Moore Public School and Goba Town Public School are the five schools that will be piloting the transformative education initiative.

Launching the initiative at the Corina Hotel on Friday, March 6, the coordinator for Special Program at the Ministry of Education Shadrach Y. Kerl said it is time that Liberia transforms and that he is happy it is taking place in the educational sector.

“There are lots of problems in our educational sector but no one can solve these problems beside us. So, with aspiration from the teachers of Liberia and on behalf of the Ministry of Education, I do here happily declare this initiative launch,” Kerl said.  

Giving the background of the initiative earlier, the program Coordinator Desmond Samuels said after much clarity on how his organization (KEEP) is going to conduct the transformative education as a pilot, the Ministry of Education was able to approve and validate the manual and ask that KEEP go ahead and conduct their initiative.

“At this time, we are glad to tell you that the Ministry of Education has approved KEEP’s education agreement project to pilot transformative education in the designated schools,” Samuels disclosed.

He added: “So, in those schools where we started the pilot project, we are going to continue. After this, we are going to have more engagements and see how transformative education can be practical in every school in and around the country.”

According to the Project Coordinator, the introduction of transformative education will improve learning outcomes in the schools.

About 50 persons were able to go through some training from KEEP. Those teachers, Samuels says his organization will conduct a regular classroom monitoring to evaluate teachers’ performance.

“We are moving from the old way, that is the traditional method to a new method. We want to see a classroom that is practicing democratic culture. Where students participate in their learning and discover things on their own,” he said.

Also speaking, the Gender Justice Program Manager of Oxfam in Liberia, Luopa Garmi Blackie, narrated how in 2016, in Copenhagen, a meeting convened by Oxfam, constituted an education community of practice and influence” agreed that “strengthening transformative public education will help fight against inequality.

This, Gender Justice Program Manager of Oxfam in Liberia says is the overall goal of the Oxfam future education work.

“Oxfam has realized that a transformative, quality education leads to knowing your rights and responsibilities, having a voice, being able to participate and organize, and build active citizenship for children, youths, and adults,” Madam Blackie said.

She added: “Oxfam also ensures inclusion, tolerance and gender equality in transformative education.”

Adding up, the Executive Director of KEEP Mrs. Brenda B. Moore said the new initiative will not allow teachers to be complacent in delivering the instructional materials to the students.

She added: “If we wait for the children to finish high schools before we start teaching them active citizenship, we will fail. We need to engage them now to have that mindset at this stage in their lives where we have the opportunities to influence their thinking.”

For his, the principal of the Arthington Public School, Jerome Peterson praised Oxfam and KEEP for their immense contribution to Liberia’s education system.

“We pray that as we leave from here, we will go back to our various schools and implement these techniques that have been taught by KEEP,” Peterson said.