In 2015, former Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf visited Kenya to see the Bridge International Academies Community School program with her Education Minister, George Werner.
In 2016, the then President invited Bridge Liberia to work in the Liberian public school system, supporting Liberian schools to become powerful public schools. The result, an innovative public private partnership – Partnership Schools for Liberia (PSL) – designed to ultimately transform the country’s primary public education system. Bridge Liberia was paired with public primary schools across the country; while teachers remained on the Government payroll.
“As a woman, I believe in educating young people, especially girls. We all need to help develop our children’s future because it is with them the future lies.”
Vice President – Jewel Howard-Taylor – 2021
After a change of national Government, PSL became the Liberian Education Advancement Program (LEAP). LEAP is now in its seventh year, and Bridge Liberia is delivering statistically significant learning gains.
Four Independent Studies and Randomized Control Trials have shown the efficacy of the program. Bridge Liberia has evidenced a statistically significant improvement in learning outcomes. In a gold standard RCT, students in Bridge Liberia supported public schools were found to benefit by an equivalent of 2.5 years more of learning in just 3 years.
As a result of their effectiveness, many Bridge policies have already been adopted into the broader Education system by the Ministry of Education; including a longer school day; and keeping pregnant girls in the classroom.
“Achieving gender equality in Liberia is one of the top priorities of my Administration, and I remain committed and obligated to ensuring that my Government achieves this.”
President George M. Weah – UNESCO General Conference, 2021
The program was always designed to be financially self-sustaining once the Ministry of Education was able to increase its education budget to $100 a student per year; until that moment it remains reliant on philanthropic support.
Today, Bridge works across the country, in all of Liberia’s 15 counties. 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.
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