UNICEF Distributes Over 700,000 Learning Kits to Children Across Liberia

June 8, 2015

Over 4,450 schools to receive kits, benefiting more than 700,000 children and 44,000 teachers

NEW YORK (June 8, 2015) – UNICEF began the distribution of 700,000 learning and teaching kits to thousands of schools across Liberia last week. These kits will help to ensure the continuity of learning for students in Liberia, post Ebola, by providing some of the basic educational items required during the school year.

The 700,000 kits will be distributed to 4,460 schools in all counties and districts of Liberia.

“The education of over one million children was affected by the closure of schools during the peak of the Ebola outbreak in Liberia. We provided infection prevention and control kits to help schools reopen, and now that they have, we are providing these materials to assist students and teachers to teach and learn effectively using basic resources, so that children become productive citizens and future leaders of Liberia. This is consistent with the Child Friendly School Approach, the quality improvement framework that UNICEF promotes worldwide,” says Sheldon Yett, UNICEF’s Representative in Liberia.

The school/teaching kits contain chalk, chalkboard erasers, poster sheets, permanent markers, hanging folders, reams of paper, manila folders, registration/enrolment books, attendance registers, and lesson plan books. The learning kits contain school bags, pencils, erasers, sharpeners, rulers, notebooks, yellow pads and geometry sets.

UNICEF, with funding from the US Agency for International Development (USAID), purchased the teaching and learning materials for 4,460 schools. UNICEF has been exclusively responsible for packing all of the 700,000 kits, and is working with Liberia’s Ministry of Education to distribute these materials.

“Every child in Liberia needs to have an equal opportunity to education. Our goal is to create an enabling environment for children to go to school, engage in educational activity, and realize their full potential,” said Hon. George K. Werner, Liberia’s Minister of Education. “This is part of that process, and we are grateful to USAID and UNICEF for providing this crucial assistance that will enhance the quality of teaching and learning in our schools.”

UNICEF is working closely with the Ministry of Education staff, county and district education officers and school principals to ensure effective distribution of the supplies to all schools. The distribution process is expected to continue for the next 12 weeks.

In February 2015, UNICEF provided over 7,000 infection prevention and control kits to some 4,038 schools across Liberia. This was complemented by the distribution of kits to an additional 581 schools in April. The kits included buckets, soap, chlorine and cleaning items to help schools reduce the risk of transmission of Ebola.

While no recent study has been conducted, the Liberia Out of School Children study in 2012 revealed that there were 571,555 children of school-going age out of school and over 400,000 at the risk of dropping out.  More than 30 percent of children who start grade one do not complete the primary school cycle. According to the 2014 EMIS, the net enrolment rate is only 26.7 percent.

About UNICEF
The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) works in more than 190 countries and territories to put children first. UNICEF has helped save more children’s lives than any other humanitarian organization, by providing health care and immunizations, clean water and sanitation, nutrition, education, emergency relief and more. The U.S. Fund for UNICEF supports UNICEF's work through fundraising, advocacy and education in the United States. Together, we are working toward the day when no children die from preventable causes and every child has a safe and healthy childhood. For more information, visit www.unicefusa.org.

For more information, contact:
Susannah Masur, U.S. Fund for UNICEF, 212.880.9146, smasur@unicerfusa.org