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  • Writer's pictureMarie S.

Curriculum: The curriculum plays a significant role in shaping education systems and structures.

Introduction

Education is a fundamental aspect of development and growth in any society. The curriculum is a crucial component of the education system, as it outlines the skills and knowledge that students should acquire to succeed in the workforce and contribute to society. In Liberia, education has been a priority since the end of the civil war in 2003, but there are still challenges in ensuring that the curriculum is effective and relevant.



Current Curriculum in Liberia

The current curriculum in Liberia is based on the six-year primary school program and the three-year junior high school program, which is followed by three years of senior high school. The primary and junior high school curricula are designed to provide students with a foundation in basic literacy, numeracy, science, social studies, and life skills. The senior high school curriculum is designed to prepare students for higher education or vocational training.


However, there have been concerns that the current curriculum is not adequately preparing students for the workforce and society. For example, a 2016 report by the Ministry of Education found that only 15% of Liberian students were proficient in reading, and only 18% were proficient in mathematics. This indicates a significant gap in the knowledge and skills that students are acquiring through the current curriculum.


Moreover, there are concerns that the current curriculum does not reflect the needs of a changing job market in Liberia. The focus on traditional academic subjects such as math and science may not adequately prepare students for the skills and knowledge needed in emerging industries such as technology and entrepreneurship. This could lead to a skills gap and hinder economic development in the long term.


There have been efforts to reform the curriculum in Liberia in recent years. In 2018, the Ministry of Education launched a new curriculum framework with a focus on competency-based learning and a more holistic approach to education. The new framework aims to address the gaps in the current curriculum by incorporating more practical and vocational training, such as entrepreneurship and financial literacy.



However, the implementation of the new curriculum has faced challenges, such as a lack of resources and infrastructure. In addition, there have been criticisms that the new framework is too ambitious and may not be achievable given the current state of the education system in Liberia.


The current curriculum in Liberia has significant implications for the country's education system, workforce, and economy. There is a need for ongoing evaluation and reform to ensure that students are receiving a quality education that prepares them for the demands of the 21st-century job market.


Impact of the Current Curriculum

The impact of the current curriculum on Liberia's education system and structures is significant. The lack of proficiency in reading and mathematics among students has resulted in a high dropout rate, especially at the primary and junior high school levels. This has implications for the workforce, as it means that many young people do not have the skills or knowledge needed to succeed in the job market.


Furthermore, the lack of proficiency in reading and mathematics has also affected the quality of education in Liberia. Teachers may struggle to teach effectively when students lack basic literacy and numeracy skills. This can lead to a cycle of poor education quality, low student achievement, and high dropout rates.


In addition to the low proficiency in reading and mathematics, the current curriculum in Liberia has been criticized for its lack of relevance to the country's socio-economic context. For instance, the curriculum does not adequately address the needs of the informal sector, which is a significant contributor to Liberia's economy. This means that many students are not adequately prepared for the realities of the job market and may struggle to find employment after completing their education.


Moreover, the current curriculum in Liberia has been criticized for its lack of inclusivity and cultural sensitivity. The curriculum places a significant emphasis on Western education and neglects to incorporate Liberian history and culture adequately. This lack of representation can result in a lack of cultural pride and identity among students.


There have been efforts to reform the current curriculum in Liberia to address these issues. The Liberian government, with the support of international partners, has implemented the National Curriculum Framework, which aims to create a more inclusive and culturally sensitive curriculum. The framework also includes a focus on critical thinking, problem-solving, and life skills, which are essential for success in the modern job market.


The current curriculum in Liberia has a significant impact on the country's education system and structures. The lack of proficiency in reading and mathematics, along with the lack of relevance to the country's socio-economic context and the lack of inclusivity and cultural sensitivity, has led to challenges in preparing students for the workforce and society. However, efforts to reform the curriculum provide hope for a more effective and inclusive education system in Liberia.


Recommendations

To address the challenges of the current curriculum, it is necessary to evaluate its effectiveness and relevance to the needs of students and the workforce. This may involve a comprehensive review of the curriculum, including its content, pedagogy, and assessment. The review should involve input from teachers, students, parents, and stakeholders in the education sector.


In addition, it is important to provide teachers with the necessary training and support to effectively implement the curriculum. This may involve professional development opportunities, mentoring, and resources to enhance teaching quality and student learning.


Conclusion

In conclusion, the curriculum is a critical component of Liberia's education system and structures. It plays a significant role in preparing students for the workforce and society. However, there are concerns about the effectiveness and relevance of the current curriculum. Addressing these concerns requires a comprehensive evaluation and review of the curriculum, as well as providing teachers with the necessary support and training to implement it effectively.

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