Key Thematic Tracks from UN Transforming Education Summit, align with Bridge Liberia Teaching Methodology
Government leaders and education stakeholders from across the world earlier this week convened in New York for the United Nations (UN) inaugural Transforming Education Summit.
They gathered in response to the global learning crisis, focusing on identifying education transformation programs proven to work at scale.
The UN summit took place against a backdrop of growing evidence about the unprecedented scale of the crisis and an increasingly public acknowledgement by global leaders that the 2030 SDG4 goal on education will not be met.
Bridge Liberia and its technical partner, NewGlobe, is one of the most widely talked about technical partners in education, supporting over 300 public primary schools and improving learning outcomes through system transformation for over 75,000 students in Liberia.
The methodology underpinning Bridge Liberia was the subject of a groundbreaking study earlier in the year by a Nobel Prize winner, Professor Michael Kremer.
Professor Kremer revealed in the study that for early childhood development (ECD) – typically 3 and 5 year olds – children gain nearly an additional year and half of learning; learning in two years what students in other schools learn in three and a half years.
Also, the study finds children taught using NewGlobe’s methods are more than three times more likely to be able to read a sentence by the time they are in first grade, relative to their peers in other schools. The World Bank estimates that 90% of 10 year-olds in Sub Saharan Africa do not reach this benchmark.
This is good news for Liberia. Especially the students that are learning under the Bridge Liberia support system, as these students are supported by the same technical supporter, NewGlobe.
Data published by UNESCO in early September in a report “New Estimation Confirms Out-of-School Population is Growing in sub-Saharan Africa” showed that inequalities in access to education are keeping about 244 million children out of the classroom. Sub-Saharan Africa remains the region with the most children out of school, and it is also the only region where this number is increasing.
In June, The World Bank updated its assessment of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on global education. It estimates that 70% of 10-year-olds in low and middle-income countries are now in “learning poverty” – unable to read and understand a simple text. For Sub-Saharan Africa, the estimate is 90%, the highest regional figure in the world.
In contrast, Professor Kremer’s report suggests hope for students under the NewGlobe partnership and recommends the methods used by NewGlobe across it markets if replicated at scale across public education systems, the gains would be enough to put African children from underserved communities on track to match their peers in countries with incomes three or four times higher.
2019 Nobel Prize Laureate, Professor Michael Kremer said:
“The effects in this study are among the largest in the international education literature, particularly for a program that was already operating at scale.”
“This study shows that attending schools delivering highly standardized education has the potential to produce dramatic learning gains at scale, suggesting that policymakers may wish to explore incorporation of standardization, including standardized lesson plans and teacher feedback and monitoring, in their own systems.”
The Transforming Education Summit has identified Thematic Action Tracks to place a spotlight on areas that require greater attention and action and that can accelerate progress on education: Inclusive, equitable, safe and healthy schools; Learning and skills for life, work and sustainable development; Teachers, teaching and the teaching profession; Digital learning and transformation; and Financing of education.
Some of these key thematic areas identified, are already at the core of the approach used by Bridge Liberia and its technical partner NewGlobe in transforming education; Digital learning and transformation, Inclusivity and equity, teachers, training and teaching profession.
Bridge Liberia uses technology to change how students learn, to empower teachers and other school leaders at every stage of their journey to deliver lessons in a timely, coherent and guided manner.
Inclusivity and equity- girls make the same leap in learning as boys in schools supported by NewGlobe, Prof. Kremer’s groundbreaking study on education furthered.
Teachers, teaching and teaching profession- Bridge Liberia focuses on teacher training and leverages technology to empower teachers and improve children’s learning outcomes, through intensive training, ongoing support, scientifically-based digital teacher guides, positive classroom management techniques and real-time monitoring of lessons.
These milestone achievements in the education sector have not only improved test scores and learning for students, but it is also contributing to the performance of teachers in the classrooms at Bridge Liberia supported schools.
The Liberia Education Advancement Program (LEAP) is an innovative and philanthropically funded public private partnership, designed by the Liberian Government to improve learning for students in public primary schools, and Bridge Liberia is the government’s main partner in the program delivering on learning gains.