Education Liberia



After the 1997 elections in Liberia, which brought in to place a civilian government, there were several schools, colleges and universities that were reopened. Most of the schools in the country are being operated by churches or Christian missions, among which are the Catholic Church, Methodist, Episcopal and a few others. Others are being by the government under the supervision of the Monrovia Cooperative School System (MCSS).

Most of the schools are found within the Monrovia area. This is because of the lack of good roads throughout the entire country. Christian missions have extended their schools to other parts of the country so as to increase the educational process and ease the mass flow of students into Monrovia.

Majority of the students can only afford to attend the public or government schools or university because of the high tuition fees involved. Most of the schools being operated by the government have poor performance of their students. This due to the low salaries being paid to their instructors and the lack of good teaching materials. Instructors in most cases pay less attention to the students.

Unlike the public or government schools, the private or church mission schools are offering a better quality of education to most of the students. Although there are very few public or government schools that are struggling to do likewise. Some private schools provide books and other materials to help ease the problems of getting a good textbook by the students.

There has been a little increase in the number of community colleges and universities in the county sine the civil crisis. The government owned university has re-opened an annex in another part of the country to increase the number of students wanting to attend the university. The major problem of this university is financial support. There is very little support for the university by the national government. This in most times including this year has led to the delay in acquiring a degree at the nation’s highest institution of learning. Many times a student spent six to seven years to earn a degree. Early this year (2000) the national university closed for the first semester and did not re-opened for nearly two semesters.

There are three private universities now opened which the plan to open a fourth one by the Methodist Church. There are near five private colleges most of which are being run by the Catholic Church, and the Episcopal Church.


Due to the lack of schools within the rural areas of the country, most of this education process is carried out in the Monrovia between the ages of 3 to 6. During this period the little students are taught how to identify letters and read.

Primary/Elementary School

There are many of these schools almost through out the country but with very few within the rural areas and the greater number within the Monrovia areas and surrounding communities. At this level students from grades 1 to 6 learn basic reading, English, arithmetic, general science and bible.

Junior High School

Most of the junior high schools are found in Monrovia except those of the church missions and very few government or public schools. All schools through out the country are under the Ministry of Education, which has the responsibility to regulate quality education to students in the country. During this level students are induced to the basic concepts of algebra, geometry, geography, physical science and chemistry. They also sit for the West African Exams for.

Senior High Schools

About 98% of the senior high schools are in Monrovia and the others within the rural areas of the country. In the senior high school level students are prepared for universities and learned the second editions to subjects taught during the years of junior high. Students are also allowed to sit for the West African Exams if they are successful.

College and University

Liberian colleges and universities are limited in many aspects because of the lack of finance. The national university is always faced with numerous problems that can not be solved by the national government. There is presently the need for better instructors at the university.

Private universities have better facilities and therefore present better quality education in the country because their instructors are well paid. But they also have their own limitations in terms of accreditation with most of the foreign universities. There is still a growing need to improve the educational system in Liberia. This can be seen from the mass failure of students in the West African Exams of 1999 and 2000.


62% of the Liberia's population are educated, according to the latest figures. Primary and secondary education is largely free, and officially compulsory between the ages of 5 and 16 years, 

  • School enrolment| : primary education 6-11 years: 75%
  • School enrolment: secondary education: 67%
  • School enrolment: tertiary education 20-24 years: 22%
  • Adult literacy: 39% (male: %; female: %) [later total figure found: 53%]
Quick Facts By Counties

Bomi County
There are 105 functioning primary schools and 135 teachers in the county. Some NGOs are working hard to rebuild the education system and infrastructure in the county but at a slow pace.

Bong County
The war has seriously affected the educational sector in Bong County. Some efforts are being made locally to provide basic education services. However, most of these initiatives operate out of temporary structures with no resources and are overseen by volunteer teachers with mediocre professional skills.

The enrolment ratio in primary schools is 25.4/24.6 (male/female) and 37.6/19.6 percent (urban/rural) while the gross enrolment is 74.9/66.0 percent (male/female). Also, the school system is limited by a critical shortage of classrooms, text books and instructional materials. According to UNICEF, adult literacy rate is generally low -- 38.5 percent with males and females forming 54 percent and 24.5 percent respectively.

Only a limited number of teachers have been properly trained. Most teachers work as volunteers and have not been paid for some time. Schools tend to lack even the most basic rudiments: text books, lesson planning books, supplies and furniture. However, the education in Bong County is active, though most schools are currently non-functional. In some districts, there are a number of public and private first and second cycle schools that are in session. Cuttington University (CU) is the only higher institution of learning in the county.

Gbarpolu County
No Facts yet, Coming soon

Grand Bassa County
Prior to civil war, Grand Bassa County had a comparatively perfect educational system, regrettably, today, many of the schools remained in ruin, unattended and / or latent as a direct consequent of the war. As a result a several school children are not able to go to school with the resultant effect that children are moving into the few functional overcrowded facilities. According to present information, four of the five districts in the county have two hundred and five (205) schools with a student population of twenty seven thousand and fifty four (27,054) while the total number of teachers is one thousand four hundred and twenty four (1,424). Statistics for one district (district 3) were not available at the time of preparation the profile.

Grand Cape Mount County
A total of 110 functioning elementary and junior high schools and two high schools with 269 payroll and 623 non- payroll community volunteer teachers exist in the County.

NRC is conducting a community rapid education programme in 19 schools while UNMIL QIPs and NGOs are working hard to rebuild the educational infrastructure in the county. Sinje and Mani High school has been approved as Senior High schools but the lack of qualified teachers for the high school classes prevented students from enrolling. UNICEF has provided teaching and learning materials to schools in the county. Also, UNICEF in collaboration with the Education Health Division of the Ministry of Education has established school health clubs in the schools while UNMIL Civil Affairs is establishing cultural and drama peace clubs in selected schools in the County.

Despite the efforts made by UNICEF and the Ministry of Education to launch massive sensitization campaign on child girls’ education, the enrolment of girls remains very low. The educational system is adversely affected by lack of furniture and qualified teachers, poor state of buildings and poor conditions of service for teachers. The importance of enrolling and training B Certificate teachers should not be overemphasized. Consideration to develop long distance training programme that would upgrade the educational standards of teachers in the rural areas should be designed to alleviate the shortage.

  • Public Schools -133
  • private Schools - 06
  • Functional Schools -110
  • Total Schools -139
  • Total Tachers On Payroll -269
  • Teachers -356
  • Volunteers -623

Grand Gedeh County

Educational Staff and Facilities as at July 2005

Type of schoolSchoolsNoTeachersStudents
ElementaryPublic Elementary Schools7231115,119
-Community Elementary Schools14504,666
-Private/Missionary Elementary Schools10743,422
Secondary SchoolPublic High Schools171896,641
-Private High Schools3351,612
Vocational/ Technical SchoolZwedru Multilateral High School129440

Grand Kru County
No Facts yet, Coming soon

Lofa County
The education sector is picking up gradually though it remains unable to cope up with the population. Before the war, there were 248 primary schools with an enrolment of 50,661 and 1,220 staff. Right now there are 15 functioning public schools renovated by UN Agencies and International NGOs as well as 14 private schools. Before the war, there were 12 secondary schools, with a total enrolment of 1,066 and 155 staff. The existing ones do not have adequate teaching staff and furniture for full operations. Therefore, more schools are needed. As at close of 2004, there were 12 elementary schools with about 214 teachers and close to 6000 students. The secondary schools functioning and existing in the County are Zorzor Teacher Training Institute and Voinjama Multi-lateral High School. Voinjama Multilateral High School itself was destroyed and is using part of Voinjama Public School as classrooms. Up to now, there was no other vocational school or technical school available.

The County education office was rehabilitated by UNHCR through Peace Wind Japan. The County Education Officer and all district education officers are on post.

Margibi County
There are 17 government primary schools in Margibi County and six private schools. The number of government secondary schools, private secondary schools and vocational/technical schools is 16, five and six respectively. In addition to these, there are two higher institutions of learning - namely the Booker Washington Institute (BWI) that awards degrees and the Kakata Rural Teacher Training (KRTT). UNMIL Quick Impact renovated more than 10 of the schools mentioned and supplied

Maryland County
The education sector in Maryland is in a very poor state, with most schools either having been burned or severely dilapidated from years of neglect. DRC estimated in May of 2004 that over a third of the public schools (37 out of 106) are destroyed to the point that they cannot be used for teaching purposes. The hardest hit districts are Pleebo and Barrobo, where 80% and 52% of schools are destroyed respectively .

DRC estimated in May 2004 that over a third of the public schools (37 out of 106) are totally destroyed to the point that they cannot be used for teaching purposes. The hardest hit districts are Pleebo and Barrobo, where 80% and 52% of schools are destroyed respectively.

There are 725 active teachers in 106 public schools in Maryland County. Of these, 143 or 20% are women. Most are volunteers and not trained. The student to teacher ratio (STR) for public schools is presently estimated at 41:1. Table 4 shows the number of students and teachers in public schools by district. It also shows student to teacher ratios for each district and for Maryland County as a whole.

Montserrado County
According to a UNICEF assessment of the condition of schools in Liberia, Montserrado County is home to 1229 of the country’s total of 3082 schools. Most of these, however, are in Monrovia or Greater Monrovia.

Formal education efforts have been supplemented with informal education in the County especially targeting the over age students. USAID/Liberian Transition Initiative and Mercy Corps has been delivering Life Skills curriculum in some schools and communities. Goba and Pleemu town youth have especially gained from this rural based youth education for Life Skills. Over age students have also gained from vocational skills training in amongst others embroidery and baking, delivered by various NGOs especially in the Greater Monrovia area.

Nimba County
Among the 172 functioning schools, 42% are classified as Public Schools, while 58% are classified as either Mission or Private Schools. As of March 2005, there are an estimated number of 41,673 pupils and students attending schools in Nimba County. Forty-four percent (44%) of the total enrolees are in government or public institutions, while fifty-six percent (56%) are recorded to be in mission or private schools.

LocationPrimary/ ElementaryHigh SchoolColleges/ Vocational/TechnicalNumber Of Students
Saclepea/ Saglipie33nilnil

In general, the condition of schools particularly government institutions are satisfactory. However, lack of school furniture such as desks and chairs for students, black boards, books, visual aids, and lack of qualified teachers is severe in every school.

As of April 2005, the majority of schools were renovated by UNHCR, UNICEF, and NGOs and under QIP, UNMIL.

Rivercess County 
No Updates available yet, Coming Soon

River Gee County 
Schools in River Gee have reopened since resumption of normalcy, marked by the official cessation of hostilities between the warring factions. However, the education sector in the county, like in other parts of Liberia, faces numerous difficulties, from looted and destroyed premises to a lack of material conditions. There are a total of seventy-seven active institutes of which ten are private schools and sixty-seven are public. It should also be mentioned that according to the information provided, the majority of the district schools were built through local initiative of the communities, who used local materials from the forests, to erect the physical structures.

There is only one Senior High School in the whole county and twelve Junior High Schools, but no higher education institute.

In Krowroken (Jimmyville), Webbo District, there is the only level C training institute for primary school teachers in the entire South-eastern region, the Webbo Teacher Training Institute (WTTI), whose premises are in good condition. A company of the UNMIL Senegalese contingent (SENBATT) was located in WTTI until an agreement with local authorities was reached, but funds are still necessary to reactivate the institute. Due to the importance of the school in the Liberian educational system, an intervention should be considered as priority by all relevant international donors.

Peter Merckx,
12 Jan 2010, 04:59
Peter Merckx,
12 Jan 2010, 05:00
Peter Merckx,
12 Jan 2010, 05:00
Peter Merckx,
12 Jan 2010, 05:01
Peter Merckx,
12 Jan 2010, 05:02
Peter Merckx,
12 Jan 2010, 05:02
Peter Merckx,
12 Jan 2010, 05:00
Peter Merckx,
12 Jan 2010, 05:01