Teaching in Bridge Liberia Elementary Schools

In Liberia, all teachers in the Government programme are government teachers and remain on the government payroll. Bridge Liberia has increased teacher attendance from 40% to 85% and supported the Ministry of Education to add hundreds of ‘volunteer teachers’ to the civil service payroll. It has re-trained thousands of teachers including in some of the hardest and most remote areas of the country and continues to ensure they are part of a fully integrated training and support network.

“Technology is my expertise. I am happy to see that the Ministry of Education partnering with Bridge Liberia to bring this type of support to our schools.”

President George Weah speaking at Bridge Bahn Public School, Feb 2021

As a result of the partnership programme, the Ministry of Education is tackling two pernicious policy issues. Identifying and removing illiterate teachers from the classroom; and, identifying and removing ‘Ghost teachers’ from the Government payroll. These two policy decisions are fundamental in the strengthening of the teaching workforce and school performance.

Since 2016, tens of thousands of Government teachers have been re-trained and are now operating in a technological supported environment; benefitting from continuous professional development. At Bridge Liberia, through a new teaching philosophy focused on the ‘big four’ teaching skills and associated teaching techniques, Liberia’s government teachers are now attending class, motivated, supported and equipped with new knowledge and skills.

The success of the approach is evident in the results being achieved by their students. Over three years, learning gains have increased significantly; 53% of Bridge Liberia third-grade students are proficient readers and 28% are basic readers, compared to none in either of these categories just two and a half years ago.

Boosting the capacity of teachers and school leaders

In Bridge Liberia, all government teachers are re-trained using the big four teaching skills so that they can deliver the most effective lessons in the classroom.

This approach prioritises:

In addition, Bridge Liberia streamlines administration within the schools its supports. All school Principals are given additional training to enhance the management of their schools and cultivate a mindset geared towards excellence of both teacher and student. Much of the traditional administrative ‘burden’ associated with managing a school is streamlined through the use of technology, giving more time to monitor classrooms and develop good relationships with parents/guardians and the wider community in which they work.

An exemplar of public education reform

Bridge Liberia has enabled the government to improve learning outcomes quickly using existing government teachers and headteachers.

It is delivering on its promise to Liberia and quickly scaling a model that embodies what all public schools in Liberia should, and can, become — powerful places of learning that provide parents, students, and teachers a stable, supportive environment they can trust, and opportunities and resources to help them reach their potential and achieve success.

“It is an innovation that has the potential to accelerate the provision of quality education and ultimately make it accessible to all Liberian students in a way it has never been before.”

Former Minister of Education – George Werner, 2017