U.S Gov’t Report Says 60% Of Liberia’s Primary Students Overage

The United States Department of State Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2014 has revealed that an estimated 60 percent of children in primary school grades one to six in Liberia are over age 12.
 
The report indicates that while government continues to institute reforms in the education sector, overage students with a high rate of absenteeism continue to pose a significant challenge to the sector.
 
It spots that the education system is faced with limited resources and few qualified teachers.
 
The report further indicates that girls accounted for fewer than half of all students in primary and secondary schools, with their proportion decreasing progressively at higher levels.
 
The US States Department report said that despite government increasing its budget allocation for education, it was unable to adequately compensate teachers, provide schools with needed resources, or compensate families for income foregone by sending their children to school.
 
Meanwhile, the report has said students with special needs and those in the rural counties were among the most vulnerable and underserved groups in terms of access to education.
 
The reported noted that the education law of Liberia provides for tuition-free and compulsory education in public schools from the primary to junior high (grades one-nine), but many schools charged informal fees to pay for teachers’ salaries and operating costs that the government did not cover.
 
According to the report, the payment of high fees has, in most cases, prevented many students from attending school, while families of both public and private school students take the burden of providing their children’s uniforms, books, pencils, paper, and even desks.

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