Monrovia – Street Child Liberia with support from the Qatari-based organization, ‘Educate A Child’, has launched a US $2.4 million educational program which would allow more than thirteen thousand-five hundred (13,000) out-of-school children to gain access to education.
The program which is expected to last for four years will affect three counties, namely: Montserrado, Maryland and Margibi under its flagship “Education for Every Child Today (EFECT).
By Jaheim T. Tumu
In his introductory remarks, Street Child Country Representatives for Liberia and Sierra Leone, Owen Doel said, the organization has strived to help 96,000 out-of-school children in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria to access education over the next four years.
According to him, among the three countries, an estimated 10 million children have been out of school since 2018 and the latest put the figure at 20 million.
He also said the organization’s focus is to ensure children are safe in school and learning.
Said Mr. Doel, “As a result of these overlapping crises, for many children in the most precarious situations, their dream of education has gotten further away than ever in the past three years.”
Making specific emphasis on Liberia, Mr. Doel said, they have developed an effective partner network adapting ways of working with children facing multiple barriers to education over the past decade.
He further said, EFECT does not have all of the answers but it has been tested, adapted, and scaled in some tough circumstances.
He added that the heart of their work with schools is to focus on foundational literacy and numeracy, which are the minimum skills that children should leave with on completion of primary education.
“We look forward to working with our partners on that journey – to the significant benefit of our whole organization and hopefully the wider sector,” he said.
“The EFECT program will be a contribution towards realizing the dreams and potential of nearly one hundred thousand children.”
Adding; “We know we are not alone in this fight to get to zero out of school children, as the broader commitment by the government of Liberia has shown. Indeed, EFECT will directly contribute towards pillar two of the Government’s Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development.”
Giving his keystone speech on the program, the Deputy Minister of Education for Instruction, Alexander Duopue endorsed Street Child for the EFECT program which is set to provide access to out-of-school children in the country.
Minister Duopue disclosed that the Street Child’s EFECT, would construct 38 schools in new communities that are 3 kilometre away from other schools.
Minister Duopue who spoke on the theme “The Role of the education sector” said, the establishment project signifies hope for the young Liberians who are hungry for education.
He also added that despite people being completely unaware of the architectural plan, they were eagerly desperate due to the out-of-school children.
“Said Minister Duopue, “Today, what the thoughts have been and what we hear now, it’s less arguable, this project is the definition of a unique learning institution.”
“The academic environment coupled with the urge of the sponsors and overseer to give the future generations what they deserve, with no doubt, will inspire excellence in the school.”
Launching the program, Bong County Senator, Prince Moye, said he is delighted that out-of-school children are being captured in the Street Child program.
He urged the organization to commence its program in a holistic way to ensure children stay in school.