Struggling for Quality in Education in War-Ridden Liberia. A Review of the Educational Activities of the Salvation Army in Liberia

Om publikasjonen

  • Utgitt: 2006
  • Serie: --
  • Type: Gjennomganger fra organisasjoner
  • Utført av: Øystein Lund Johannessen, Centre for Intercultural Communication
  • Bestilt av: Norwegian Missions in Development (BN)
  • Land: Liberia
  • Tema: Utdanning og forskning
  • Antall sider: --
  • Serienummer: --
  • ISBN: --
  • ISSN: --
  • Organisasjon: Norwegian Missions in Development (BN)
  • Lokal partner: Salvation Army Liberia
  • Prosjektnummer: GLO-01/451-190
NB! Publikasjonen er KUN tilgjengelig elektronisk og kan ikke bestilles på papir


Four projects were supposed to be evaluated. Two projects concern the establishment of two new combined elementary and high schools in and near the capital Monrovia. These two projects have been concluded, and the evaluation specifically focus on the impact of the projects in a longer perspective, as well as on relevance and sustainability.

The third project was the construction of a new school in Zwedru to the south-east of the capital. However, this project has been severely hampered by the unstable situation both in Liberia and neighbouring Ivory Coast. The evaluator was not able to travel to this place due to bad roads. The project was therefore left out of this evaluation.

The fourth project included in the evaluation is the construction and putting into operation a new Teacher Training College in Monrovia. The construction of this college was delayed, and this is one of the areas dealt with in the review. However, more important are issues like management, administrative and pedagogical competence and resources, as well as the establishing of effective institutional structures that are functional in achieving the overall project goals, as the project was about to enter the important phase of starting up teaching and training.


The objective of the evaluation was to carry out a review of four projects within the education sector where the Norwegian Government through BN/NORAD has been a major financial contributor.


The methodology used in this review included a study of relevant documents, informant interviews and observation of activities at the project sites.

Key findings

The review finds that the two SA schools in Monrovia function well and are viewed as being among the best schools in the area. They perform well in national examinations, as well as in sport and music competitions. The schools are popular among pupils and teachers as they offer quality teaching and keep good discipline. However, the entire school system in Liberia is still in a severe crisis, with few teachers, almost no text books, no equipment for laboratories, libraries or workshops. Teachers' salaries are extremely low, and the student fees high compared to most families' income. However, it is the opinion of the evaluator that the SA schools are using the limited resources at their disposal in a very effective way.

The teacher salaries in Liberia have led to a situation where literally no-one would like to study in a teachers training college. This situation impacts on the SA's plans to start a teacher training college. However, the new teacher training college could become a very important factor in the struggle to restore the prestige and popularity of the teaching profession. To achieve this, the college needs to cooperate with colleges and universities that are already offering good quality teaching. The problem of offering affordable studies with the prospect of having a decently paid job afterwards must be met through cooperation and a certain degree of specialization.


Strengthen administrative capacity by employing one more person in the education office. By doing this, one person could concentrate on policy- and strategy development, and networking with other stakeholders in the Liberian education sector, while the other could take care of the administrative tasks.

Sufficient economical resources should be allocated to the installation of electricity in the schools, or at least the administrative departments.

The SA should play a role in establishing a forum for education in Liberia, in which principals and experienced teachers could meet with lecturers at the university and teacher training colleges to establish national syllabuses, and textbooks.

The two combined elementary and high schools should strengthen the cooperation between the schools and the local community, for example by establishing an advisory forum or committee where parents and other representatives for the local community are represented.

It is an important challenge for the SA to find a way of solving the problem of practical exclusion from good, affordable schooling for children from the poorest layers of society in the geographical catchment areas for the SA schools.

The SA schools should invest in improvement of the pedagogical equipment, and also in professional courses for their teachers. The low teachers salaries is first and foremost a government responsibility, but the SA as a school owner needs to bear in mind the teachers rights to an income that can support them and their families.

Due to the problems of attracting students to a teacher training college, the evaluator recommends that the teacher training college should be developed into a combined vocational and teacher training college.

SA should equip this college with the necessary machinery and equipment, and the college should then be used both for training high school students in different vocations, for training skilled artisans in pedagogy and the didactics of vocational training, and for income generation. The chemistry, physics and biology laboratories that probably are to be found in a combine teacher training and high school/ vocational centre, should also be made available to other institutions.

Publisert 23.01.2009
Sist oppdatert 16.02.2015