Bridge Liberia, ECOWAS and UNICEF jointly commemorate the Day of the African Child
On June 16 2023, Liberian Children joined their counterparts on the continent to commemorate the 32nd anniversary of the Day of the African Child.
The day is celebrated every year to honor children who participated in the Soweto Uprising on June 16, 1976. The day that was first initiated by the Organization of African Unity (OAU) is also used to raise awareness on the need for better education for African children.
This is the second year Bridge Liberia is partnering with ECOWAS and UNICEF to bring together some of Liberia’s young and creative minds to participate in activities meant to commemorate the Day of the African Child.
Under the theme “The rights of the child in the digital environment,” over 50 students from selected schools including Bridge Liberia-supported schools discussed the topic with policymakers and education stakeholders. The students quizzed various stakeholders about how children in Liberia can be protected from harmful online content while at the same time benefiting from the digital revolution that is ongoing globally.
Assistant Education Minister for Basic and Secondary Education Hon. Felicia Doe Somah, European Union Deputy Head of Delegation Anders Arvidsson, Cllr. Evett Chesson Wreh and Bridge Liberia Managing Director were some of the stakeholders interviewed by the students.
Hon. Gbovadeh Gbilia speaking during the Day of the African Child event
In line with the digital theme, Bridge Liberia Managing Director, Gbovadeh Gbilia, was excited to point out the workings of his organization, explaining how teachers and students at Bridge Liberia supported schools are benefiting from the organization’s digital model of education.
He stated the need to digitize education for all schools, as this is important for not just data collection for the sector, but this would also help to ensure accountability in the classroom.
Bridge Liberia provides teaching tablets and smart phones to all teachers and principals at the over 300 schools the social enterprise is supporting under the LEAP Program. The teachers tablet, a technology pioneered by Bridge International Academics, is loaded with detailed lesson plans and instructions for teachers to deliver to students daily. The tablets also feed data back to supervisors to track the teacher’s activity and attendance and ensure they are sticking to the lesson plans.
This technology is transforming education in so many different ways. From changing how students learn, to empowering teachers and other school leaders at every stage of their journey to deliver lessons in a timely, coherent and guided manner.
The current state of learning in Africa is faced with many challenges as the opportunities are few compared to those of the west. Africa has a particular challenge, as a UNESCO study of foundational learning in Africa spells out.
“Children in Africa are seven times less likely than children in the rest of the world to be prepared for the future in reading and five times less likely to be prepared for the future in mathematics.”
Some of these key thematic areas identified at the recent Transforming Education Summit include digital learning, which is already at the core of the approach used by Bridge Liberia and its technical partner NewGlobe in transforming education.