NEWTON, MA | November 18, 2009
Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC), will expand its reach to the West African country of Liberia, leading a project aimed at improving education and skills training for young people, ages 10–35. EDC will direct the project in partnership with the YMCA of Liberia and RTI International.
The project, funded with $13 million from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), targets overage and out-of-school youth, whose needs are not met through the country’s formal education system. The new initiative will place an emphasis on work readiness and life skills training, with the launch of a new non-formal education curriculum that teaches literacy and numeracy through real-life examples and experiences.
“We hope to build on the accomplishments of programs already in place, helping young people make educational progress, enroll in livelihood training programs, find jobs, or create their own employment, as well as maintain healthy lifestyles,” said Martin Schulman, EDC Chief of Party, who will direct the work in Liberia. “We are pleased to partner with the Ministry of Education to assist with improving teaching and learning to help young people in the job market,” he said.
EDC hopes to build the capacity of the Ministry through a mentoring and job-shadowing approach, which will teach educators how to use data to inform program design, and to develop strategies for effective communication, curriculum design, planning, and budgeting. By cultivating public-private partnerships on an international and local level, EDC will also channel instructional resources to teachers.
Over the course of the two-year project, EDC will work to increase youth-centered education, focusing on improved core literacy and numeracy skills and school completion rates. The project will also expand Parent Teacher Associations and other community organizations to narrow the gender gap in enrollment and performance.
This work, known as Core Education Skills for Liberian Youth, expands on USAID/Liberia’s Accelerated Learning Program PLUS for Liberian youth and will run through August 2011.