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Liberia: NGOs launch girl education project

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Liberia-HOPE, Paramount Young Women Initiative, and CareFound-Liberia supported with funding from the Global partnership for education through Oxfam IBIS have launched a three-year project – Educate Her.

The core objective of effective implementation of the National Policy on Girls’ Education in all 15 counties in Liberia by 2023.

The “Educate Her” project which is expected to climax in 2023,  is expected to carry out advocacy for increased budgetary allocation in the education sector that will promote gender equity in education in Liberia and that education stakeholders’ capacity and coordination will be enhanced for the effective implementation and monitoring of the National Policy on Girls Education (NPGE).

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The three women led organizations formed a coalition to foster equality in girls’ education in Liberia. 

The Educate Her coalition is led by HOPE, CAREFOUND-Liberia, and the Paramount Young Women Initiative, and other education stakeholders with a strong focus on women’s rights and transformative leadership and gender equity and equality in education.

In his opening remarks, the Assistant Minister, Planning, Research and Development at the Ministry of Education, Dominic Kweme said the ‘Educate Her Project’ brings to four the total number of projects funded by the Global Partnership for Education in Liberia.

According to him, the project is largely intended contribution to the National Program on Girls Education in the country thus lauding GPE for the level of support to the Liberian education sector.

Assistant Minister Kweme noted that the project is unique in a way as it has serious linkages with a lot of the activities currently being carried out at the Ministry of Education.

“We are developing the national girls’ education strategy so since the program is intended to encourage the enforcement or implementation of the policy we already are working on, it makes this project very easy to implement because we have a clear role map.”

HOPE Executive Director, Aisha Cooper Bruce, said the three years project is an initiative that ends in December 2023 but activities will continue beyond that point, as a means of sustaining the advocacy for the full implementation of the Girls Education Policy. 

According to her, the implementing partners will help ensure that the policy is popularized and implemented in all 15 counties as a means of achieving their goal.

She further disclosed plans to carry out budgetary advocacy as a means of increasing financial contribution in the national budget for implementation of the national policy on education.

“It is another meaningful moment for the worked that all of us do to support the Ministry of Education in achieving girls education in Liberia”, Facia Harris, Executive Coordinator of Paramount Young Women Initiative (PAYOWI) said.

Madam Harris explained that the project takes partnership very important towards the achievement of its objective noting “we realized that based on the different experiences and research, the partnership is very important if we want to achieve equality in the education sector and promoting girls education in Liberia”.

She holds that the full implementation and realization of the National Girls Education Policy can only be achieved if all stakeholders including schools administration, the Ministry of Education, PATs, Parents, and girls, community leaders, health workers.., etc join and build stronger partnerships.

“This is not just about girls going to school, or having access, but more to that it is about ensuring that girls safe when they go to school; that they are able to make career choices that will promote their own livelihood and contribute to national development,” she added.

Presenting on gender equity and equality in education, Care-Found-Liberia Executive Director said women are half of Liberia’s population and have a role to play in creating a more prosperous country however, women and children; especially girls are the most vulnerable population in the country.

Atty. Evelyn Barry noted that women and girls are still excluded from participating in decision-making as such, the voices of women and girls are not considered when decisions are made on the issues that impact their lives.

She mentioned that each year of secondary education reduced the chances of child marriage which generally leads to better outcomes for both mother and kids with safer pregnancies and healthier newborns.

The ‘Educate Her Project’ was officially launched by the Assistant Minister for Basic and Secondary Education at the Ministry of Education, Felecia Sackey Doe-Sumah, who proxy for the Minister of Education, Minister Ansu on  October 8, 2021, at the HOPE Office in Congo Town.

In her launching statement, Madam Doe-Sumah thanked the Educate Her partnering organizations for the work on girls education across the country and further reassured the Ministry of Education’s continuous support in bolstering all efforts aimed at promoting girls education including creating a comfortable and safe learning environment for all girls across Liberia.

Doe-Sumah further noted that the “Educate Her project activities are timely in helping to close the gaps in achieving the full implementation of the National Girls Education Policy.        

The educate Her coalition is led by HOPE, CAREFOUND-Liberia, and the Paramount Young Women Initiative with a strong focus on women’s rights transformative leadership and gender equity and equality in education.

The Educate Her Project is funded by the Oxfam Ibis, through its EDUCATION OUT LOUD (EOL) -Advocacy & Social Accountability program.https://thenewdawnliberia.com/remove-social-barriers-against-women/

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