MONROVIA, Montserrado – The Ministry of Education has announced an Educational Stipend Cash Transfer Scheme to support students taking the West African Senior School Certificate Examinations beginning this week.
“This program will provide cash stipends to students to meet the cost of transportation to school, daily food, and other needs before the WASSCE exam. The educational stipends program will be delivered by GiveDirectly on behalf of the Ministry of Education,” read the social media post by the ministry.
The program is being funded by USAID. According to the ministry, all 12th-grade students registered to complete the WASSCE exam from public and private schools across all counties are eligible to access the stipend, which will be distributed via mobile money. Students can enroll in the program online.
In preparation for the upcoming WASSCE examinations, all 12th graders were directed to report back to school on June 29 following a pronouncement at a news conference in Monrovia by Alexander Doupu, deputy minister for instruction at the Ministry of Education.
The education sector in Liberia faces a complex set of challenges, including poor learning outcomes and a huge number of out-of-school children. These issues stem from a prolonged recovery from the civil war, constrained national finances, poor infrastructure, and the Ebola epidemic. Now, the COVID-19 pandemic is threatening to derail incremental gains being made in the sector.
During the 2018 exams, 65 percent of students failed. The ministry decided to institute study classes and mock exams to help students prepare, and in 2019, only 21 percent of students failed. Only time will tell how many students will pass this year’s exams.
Featured photo by Bruce Strong