Liberia's Higher Education: An Agenda for Virtual and Distance Education in Urban and Rural Settings
Hardy Agueh, Kade Anna
The University Admission Examinations (UAE) in 2013 showed that high school graduates in Liberia did not meet required standards. This was due to poor quality of secondary education in Liberia, characterized by a high illiteracy rate of 62% and low quality of education at the secondary and tertiary levels. In order to deal with these issues and find solutions to other social problems, Liberia needs to develop and enforce new sets of policies that will facilitate education and quality improvement. This study examines Liberia’s education system and policies particularly in higher education. The author reviews policy documents of the Liberian government, the United Nations and other non-governmental organizations, and scholarly literature to find out what approaches could benefit the Liberian nation currently recovering from 14 years of civil war and devastation. One of the main findings is that Virtual and Distance Education can be an asset to Liberia’s higher education system, if and only if, certain requirements are fulfilled. Distance education should be utilized more often so that people from rural and remote regions can access advanced education. Although traditional forms of education are still valuable and must be strengthened, distance education is proven to be convenient, accessible, effective and efficient. The Government of Liberia and its international partners need to work closely to fulfill the goals of Education for all, as this is essential to raising literacy rates across the country and accomplishing post-conflict reconstruction in Liberia. Drawing on experiences of other African nations, a set of recommendations is proposed to assist in policy formulation, with regards to quality and accessible higher education, and implementation of educational reforms in Liberia.
Education, higher education, distance education, virtual and distance education, Liberia, rural areas, urban areas, policy