Education is a right being denied to an estimated 263 million children and youth around the world. A daunting number, but one that Plan International is determined to bring down one community, one school, and one child at a time.
In Liberia, the education system has suffered from a prolonged and brutally destructive period of civil unrest and Ebola. Long-standing impacts from the war and disease have forced too many children out of school and what remains is a fragile education system that will be challenging to rebuild.
In partnership with the Liberian government, Plan international has constructed a modern new school. The school has been designed to ensure that children, especially girls have access to quality education in a safe learning environment that promotes and protects their rights.
The new school replaces three dilapidated classrooms built of mud bricks.“The old school had limited space offering a poor learning environment for the 445 students enrolled here,” explains School Principal Charles Deward, who is looking forward to the start of the new school term.
In addition to classrooms, an administrative office, reading and storage rooms, a cafeteria building with a fully equipped kitchen, there are also two apartments to house the teachers, a toilet block, washing facilities, a hand pump for the provision of clean drinking water and a playground.
The school has also been fully furnished and equipped with school supplies.
Prioritizing girls’ education
Around the world, including in Liberia, girls face a myriad of barriers that keep them from going to school or staying there.
In this community, Plan International is providing scholarships to 50 girls to encourage more girls to enroll. The additional money will help them buy school uniforms and supplies.
A girl-friendly environment is being created through additional efforts, such as:
- A children’s rights club
- Teacher training in gender awareness
- Sanitary kits for the school to distribute to adolescent girls when they reach the age of menstruation
At the inauguration ceremony for this new school a local representative recounted the many years and difficulty it took to get a modern school constructed in the community.
Help all children exercise their right to education
Plan International is committed to making quality education a reality for children, no matter how difficult it may be to do so. Change may be slow but we see firsthand the impact education has on children, and will continue to advocate and advance their rights until every child around the world is in school.