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Bridging the STEM Education GAP in Liberia One School AT a TIME

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Institute of Basic Technology Teaching Model

After more than 13 years of a devastating civil war, the Liberian educational system is still struggling to emerge.

For a country  whose  population is a little over 4 million people  with about 45% under the age of 15, the future of the country is at stake.  Although the government is striving to resuscitate the educational system in Liberia, however it alone cannot be left to  shoulder this task given the current socioeconomic challenges and urgency.  A collaborative, goodwill partnership with the Liberian government is one sure way of subsidizing the required, scarce resources needed for a rebounding the Liberian school system. 

If therefore such younger generation will be empowered,  it is vital that the education they can AFFORD be in step with their peer's in other parts of the world.  More specifically education and career in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) must be emphasized given their inherent potential to spur economic prosperity.

As a consequence, we have developed a STEM  teaching model, currently in a 2-year trail phase, to gather empirical data of its efficacy toward providing an affordable and standardized high school STEM education. The teaching model will assess the following:

Successful Graduation Rate - This means showing a progression in the number of high school seniors successfully passing the West African Examination Council (WAEC) exams with a GPA of B or better. More importantly, having at least 90% of graduating seniors passing ALL STEM subjects with a B or better.

Use of Internet Technology - More than simply learning how to use a personal computer, the goal here would be to use IT as a medium for accessing and teaching courses  at international standards. This teaching style will be more of a composite approach with the teaching staff still in control of the daily instructional session while the role of Internet courses will be supplemental.

Empower Current Teaching Staff - After shadowing the local teachers at the test high school we are currently partnering with, it was quickly observed that there are nuances unique to their teaching  that are very effective.  The value of these subtleties  can be harnessed while at the same time providing regular training classes to enhance their skills. The additional benefit is the cost savings to the school administration's operation and  undoubtedly mitigating tuition increase to the students.

Redesign the Teaching Time - If students will be successful, it will be important that they are required to actively particulate during portions of the 45 minutes teaching sessions. Therefore in every 45 minute  time slot,  students  should be able to identify the applicability of the subject to their everyday lives, secondly how the subject fits into a career track, and lastly with each student's understanding being tested at the end of each class.

                                 

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