Learning in Liberia: Year Three

The Liberian Education Advancement Program (LEAP) is a public private partnership with eight non state actors designed to improve school management in order to bring about improved learning outcomes for students across the government school system.

Learning in Liberia: Year three is a co-authored study by UNESCO’s Vice Chair of the Education Commission and Head of Education Delivery at the Ministry of Education in Liberia, and Bridge. The study specifically focuses on the progress being made in Bridge supported schools after three years of the public private partnership.

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Key finding

  • Eighty-one per cent of students who joined a Bridge supported LEAP school in the first grade and have now spent 2½ years in a Bridge supported classroom are proficient or basic readers; compared to only 33% of students in traditional public schools.

Further findings

  • Grade 3 students in a Bridge supported school—who joined in the first grade—are seven times more likely to be proficient readers than their non LEAP peers: 53% in Bridge supported schools Vs 8% in public schools.
  • In numeracy, pupils have 1.2 years more learning than their peers in comparable public schools
  • On average, fluency is above 55 words per minute, an increase of 45 words per minute in two years
  • In the past 2 ½ years, fifth grade girls’ average performance on passage reading fluency increased by over 27 words per minute. Once lagging by 10 words per minute, girls now outperform boys
  • Results across almost all grades and subtasks show reduction in the gender gap that Bridge-supported public schools
  • Students, now in grade 3 with 2 ½ years of Bridge-supported instruction, read faster than grade 5 students did in 2017. 
  • Entering 1 st grade as non-readers or emerging readers, 53% are now proficient readers and 28% are basic readers. The contrast to students in typical Liberian public schools is stark: In comparison public schools sampled in 2016-17, only 8% and 25% of 3rd graders were proficient and basic readers, respectively.