Bridge awarded 43 more schools in Liberia

The Liberian Ministry of Education has allocated Bridge an extra 43 public schools for year two of Partnership Schools for Liberia (PSL). The new allocation means that Bridge will be managing a total number of 68 public schools during the next academic year.

Liberia has some of the worst literacy rates in Africa. PSL was envisioned by the Liberian President to revolutionise education provision in the country. The decision about year two of the program enables thousands more children in Liberia to join high performing schools, for free, managed by Bridge. This is another step forward in Liberia’s plan to transform and improve its education system.

In addition, we are very proud that the Liberian government has recognised the significant impact that Bridge has made during the first PSL pilot year. At Bridge we are utterly focussed on delivering learning gains for children in our classroom and the “A rating” by the Liberian government acknowledges our success.

The school operator rating was based on the following criteria set by the Ministry of Education:

  •      Improved teacher attendance
  •      Assessment of extent of intervention
  •      Capacity to scale as demonstrated by scale internationally
  •      Effective tracking of student assessment
  •      Learning gains

Bridge has measured clear acceleration of learning for pupils in year one and we are confident this will continue. The first evidence of learning gains is due to be released imminently, with a randomised control trial (RCT) due in the autumn. This will be a gold standard, objective measurement of pupil progress.

Liberian Education Minister, George Werner, commented on the new schools by saying, “We are committed to ensuring that PSL remains a child-centric, evidence-based, and performance-driven program. We will be working with our partners over the coming weeks to ensure that independent monitoring and evaluation continues to be a cornerstone of the program in Year 2 and beyond.”

The Liberian Ministry of Education intends the expansion of PSL to focus on the south east of Liberia, which has some of the worst enrolment rates for the country. Although Liberia has nearly 3,000 primary schools, PSL accounts for a very small percentage of the overall Liberian public education system. Year two will see a total of about 200 schools in the programme, an increase of over 95% from year one.

The overall breakdown of new school allocations for PSL operators is as follows:

  • BRAC: 13 new schools in 2017 (33 total schools)
  • Bridge: 43 new schools in 2017 (68 total schools)
  • LIYONET: 2 new schools in 2017 (6 total schools)
  • More Than Me: 12 new schools in 2017 (18 total schools)
  • Omega: 2 new schools in 2017 (19 total schools)
  • Street Child: 11 new schools in 2017 (23 total schools)
  • Stella Maris: 2 new schools in 2017 (6 total schools)
  • Rising Academies: 24 new schools in 2017 (29 total schools)