FREE AND COMPULSORY PRIMARY EDUCATION POLICY IN LIBERIA: GAP BETWEEN PROMISE AND ACTUAL PERFORMANCEJournal: Educational Research International (Vol.5, No. 1)
Publication Date: 2016-02-15
Authors : Emmanuel Boone Waydon; Liu Ying; Barbara L. Ketter;
Page : 8-24
Keywords : Free Basic Primary Education; Promise and Actual Performance; Policy; Liberia;
This article aims to examine the Government of Liberia free and compulsory basic primary education policy from the perspectives of public school teachers and parents, and critique to what extent the policy that promises basic education for all, children attainment of national literacy, marketable skills through computer literacy and development has evolved. A further examination through empirical analysis on enrollment and education facilities was also conducted. While it is unarguable that the policy appeals to all stakeholders, it is observed that the policy has been seriously characterized by great implementation challenges as evidence by the pathetic perceptions of the respondents and interviewees in this research. Data were collected using semi-structured interview guides to interview twenty five parents and semi-structured questionnaires for twenty five primary school teachers from fifteen public basic primary schools chosen sporadically in Montserrado County. The researchers used case study research design. Findings from the research gathered that the policy is appealing, especially when majority of the country's population is poor and illiterate but the impact has not been felt and the policy is only on paper because parents continue to pay unimaginable complicated fees towards the education of their children. Furthermore, the country was unprepared when it adopted the policy in 2001 and its reaffirmation in 2011 was unnecessary. Findings from empirical analysis shows that more than 60% of basic primary school aged pupils are out-of-school while the education facilities available to support free education is in short supply. The paper recommends that policy of such should be driven by carefully orchestrated plan with proper implementation strategies based on well sourced resources. In addition, the paper recommends national emergency on basic primary education aims at organizing the resources so needed to improve enrollment and reduce illiteracy.
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