The quality and skills of teachers in public schools in Liberia have often into question. In 2016, the Ministry of Education embarked upon the exercise to evaluate teachers all across the country. Many did not make that cut. Most teachers have found themselves in the classroom teaching, responding to a need as an effort to fill gaps in their communities.

Most of these teachers have not had formal teachers’ trainings.

A few organizations have been supporting the Ministry’s efforts in building the capacity of teachers to be able to cope with the demands of the classrooms. The Association of Liberian Literacy Educators (a subset of Liberia Reads!) partnered with the Kids’ Educational Engagement Project (KEEP) to conduct a 2 day teachers training workshop with the goal of teaching 20 teachers skills to promote reading in young learners.

The training covered topics in phonemic awareness, how to get students to do Self Selective Reading (SSR), using simple everyday materials to create demonstrative learning tools to not only get the kids to learn, but also pique their interest in reading, and “reading with expression” techniques that teachers could employ when reading to and with the students.

The workshop was facilitated by Ms. Lyn Gray, the current Country Director of Liberia Reads! And two other experienced facilitators, Levi Jerwu and Mercy Woeayehn.

DSC_0300Ms. Gray previously worked in Liberia in the 1970s as a Peace Corps volunteer and returned in 2003 and has been working in various capacities in the education sector. She currently serves as Country Director for an organization called Liberia Reads! Which runs various programs centered around teaching kids to read and training teachers, equipping them with the skills dedicated to promoting and teaching reading in schools, particularly students between the grades ABC-4th grades.

The workshop saw 20 participants from 5 schools, all of which are current beneficiaries of a reading center funded by KEEP, with teachers coming from as far as Grand Gedeh and Gbrapolu county to participate.

KEEP’s Founder, Ms. Brenda Brewer Moore noted her organization runs these workshops to provide teachers with tips and strategies on how they can work together to promote reading among students, starting from early ages, how to ensure that the building blocks can be established at very early ages with the students.

Levi Jerwu, one of the Facilitators said, he has found the program to be quite useful over the years as it is evident from the students he teaches. He said the difference can be heard from not only how well they pronounce their words and speak, but also how well clearly and fluently they read. He also indicated that reading helps the children also engage in conducting research which helps them learn.

For Jladee Cole who teaches at the Gborbo elementary public school in Grand Gedeh county, he found the training quite useful and is returning with renew vigor to teach. He said that the skills he has learned, he can even apply some at the higher grade levels. He also noted indicated that government needs to do more monitoring of public schools to know some of the challenges these schools face. He complained about issues around over-crowdedness, lack of teachers, etc.



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