By: Guest Writer
President George Weah was full of glowing words for Bridge Liberia after experiencing the educational provider’s use of technology in the classroom.
While on the second leg of his county tour in Nimba County, the Liberian leader visited Bahn Extension Public School in Nimba County – managed by Bridge Liberia – and was amazed to see how the instructors were using tablets and their teacher guides as teaching tools in the classroom. Following a demonstration of the tablet’s functionality and explanation about the educational partner’s activities by the new Country Director GG Gbovadeh Gbilia, President Weah expressed delight at the improvements brought to public schools being run by Bridge Liberia, noting that the efforts are directly in line with his vision for education in the country.
President Weah, Finance Minister Tweh, and members of the Nimba County Legislative Caucus engages Bridge Country Director Gbilia & his team, teachers, and students
According to the President, his government has been working to digitize learning at the state-run university, so seeing Tablets and “Teaching Apps” being used to deliver lessons at elementary schools is very inspiring and needs to be emulated across more schools in the country.
During the COVID pandemic, the partner has continued to push the use of technology through SMS learning quizzes and virtual classrooms – reaching students, both from their schools and from others, in the communities; in some cases bringing out-of-school children back to learning sessions.
President Weah underscored the significance of technology and advancing our education system to be 21st century compliant; pledging his government’s unflinching support to institutions like Bridge Liberia determined to improve the sector through its innovative use of technology in our schools. “I went to DeVry University, I know all about technology, it’s my area. I’m happy to see that the Ministry (of Education) partnered with you to bring this type of support to our schools” – President Weah states to the Bridge Liberia team, gathered officials and county leaders as the school students and crowd applauds.
For five years, Bridge Liberia has been an educational partner to the government of Liberia through the Liberia Educational Advancement Program (LEAP), running close to 200 public schools in eleven of Liberia’s fifteen counties. The organization utilizes the innovation of technology, supplying each principal & teacher across its schools with Teacher Tablets and smartphones to advance learning, thereby making it easier to teach, track teachers and students’ performance and attendance, and in turn positively influence learning outcomes. This style is already creating impressive progress with government-partnered research showing that children in Bridge Liberia supported schools are getting years more learning than their peers who are not in technologically supported elementary schools.
The President’s acknowledgment and praise of Bridge Liberia’s work come at a time when the government is intent on ensuring the betterment of education in the country and has stepped up its school supervision. Educational stakeholders and analysts believe that such acknowledgment by the Liberian President will go a long way in encouraging more domestic and international investment from donors to the education sector, enabling the expansion of the LEAP program even further, while also challenging other partners lagging behind to deliver better services to the country’s schools.