Liberia, Africa’s older Republic was once a safe location for Africa brightest minds. Students from across the continent arrived at Liberia to study because of Liberia strong education system at the time. One of the older colleges in Africa, Cuttington was Liberia first private college and was once waec runs a prestigious institution at the time. The University of Liberia (LU) was Liberia first college and is the largest public institution in Liberia today. It is the only University in the country that offer MARYLAND and PhD in select fields. In the late 80s the “Liberian municipal War” broke out and the light when dark on Liberia. Liberia was competing with institutions across the continent as all the former colonies were now independent and the drive for schooling the masses were a priority for most of the Francophone and Anglophone former colonies when the light went dark.
The municipal war did two imperative things to the Liberian education system. The educated were either mortally wounded or flew the country. He did this the period Liberians refer to as “the brain drain” when educated Liberians left the country for your survival reasons and also to find greener pastures in other nations. When the educated left, the education system collapsed. These people were the skin foundations within the education sector.
There was a vacuum left and it had to be filled because Liberians have this love for education that people were still going to school in the most deplorable conditions. Doing the peak of the municipal war, Liberians still saw light at the end of the canal; it felt like there was a powerful gravitational force pulling them into jam pack classes with topic holes in the walls. It was normal for schools to be open today and closed the next time because the rebels/government defense force were in the town/village or city. He did this a perfect place for getting more young men and women to fight their war.
This educational vacuum was filled by relations, friends, classmates and those that best regards wanted money at the time. Liberian schools were being taught by high school drop outs, colleges were being taught at the time by scholars or drop outs. Most if not all class material were outdated, I will like to say that Liberia was at the time completely cut off from all of those other world. Those that wanted fast ticket out of schools bought their way to avoid. Teachers overtly asked for bribes for grades, this lead to poor performing students that can not proved their grades in national and (West African-american Examinations Council) assessments.
Liberia has bright students and teachers, but they’re overshadowed by poor performing students, dodgy teachers and school directors. Life is hard as a Liberian student, in addition to these many concerns I mentioned above, students walk miles to schools, no lunches are provided; benches for students to take a seat on are non-existent. The schools are pack like spam, teachers are not well trained. No text books are provided to teachers, all these should make a student stay away from classes, but the gravitational force is enormous and it is pulling students to classes regardless of school conditions.
Today, Liberia school system is still the same, with few teachers that are qualified to be called that name. Government is trying, but it is not enough after the municipal war, enrollment of girls and boys has skyrocketed, students are still standing in classes. Magnetic houses are built to accommodate these students, “colleges” and “universities” are being open at homes most of them given accreditation irrespective of the lack of facilities, qualify instructors. Most of these schools are in the business to make fast money out of students because of government inability to provide a better alternative. The recent WAEC exam was a tragedy, there was mass failing within the country with government schools being the hardest hit.
While this is a poor way of looking at the Liberian school system, the Liberian students should be shown admiration for because of what they’re going through daily to obtain their level. Teachers are now going through thorough vetting process and training. Liberia will come back again, the communication system in Liberia has improved remarkably and it continues to do so. Students and teachers are not harassed going to school, Liberia has a beautiful future now, but my wife long way to go. With the current energy she shows, Liberia will continue to emulate her friends and neighbors. She will continue to educate the masses and impress the international community.