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The Education System

Because of the war, human resources development was neglected while the literacy rate fell sharply below 32%, since there was no schooling in most parts of the country. The Liberian education system was destroyed during the 14-year civil conflict. A 2003 Liberian Ministry of Education and UNICEF study found that 20% of schools had been destroyed, and many of the remaining ones are in urgent need of repair . During the war, many education managers and teachers left the country and teachers without formal qualifications or experience took their place. Currently, the unqualified teachers in Liberia are estimated at 62%. As a result, enrollment is dramatically decreased: between 2000 and 2002, the gross enrollment ratio for girls declined from over 72% to just above 35% and from 73% to just above 48% for boys. Education was disrupted for so long that there are today large numbers of students in primary school are over-aged. For instance, a recent school census found that 85% of the students in grade G were 8 to 20 years old, with 50% being between 11 and 20 years. In secondary schools, 45% of boys and 27% of girls are aged between 20 and 24.

The peace, stability and economic development of the country depend on an educated workforce with access to jobs that pay a living wage. The new government is taking the right steps in working to eliminate corruption and involve the people of Liberia in the development of the education system.

Higher Education

Currently higher education in Liberia is decentralized. The main higher education institutions in Liberia are the University of Liberia and Cuttington University.

The University of Liberia is located in Monrovia. Opened in 1862, it is one of Africa's oldest institutes of higher learning. Civil war severely damaged the university in the 1990s, but the university has begun to rebuild following the restoration of peace.

Cuttington University College was established by the Episcopal Church of the USA (ECUSA) in 1889; its campus is currently located in Suakoko, Bong County.

 

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