Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Meeting A Community's Education Needs

600 children and as many as 35 adults attend Christ Redeemer International's school every day. 

A neighborhood church operates this school constructed of grass mat walls and plastic tarp roofing.  Classes are held each weekday in three separate sessions to accommodate the 600 children who attend the four room building.  An additional evening session is held for adult literacy classes.   Those classes are regularly attended by up to 35 adults from the surrounding community who attend despite long working hours during the day, difficult transportation and no electricity to light the evening study hours.  Teachers for both the school and literacy classes are church member volunteers who are incredibly committed to their church and their nation's progress.
The classrooms are crowded each day with children for whom education is a privilege and a high priority in their families.  There are no books or classroom instructional materials.  All instruction is accomplished by the teachers who copy notes and information from their own knowledge and memory of the subject matter onto the blackboard.  Students memorize the information from the blackboard and, for those fortunate enough to have a copy book and pencil, copy the information directly from the blackboard into their copy books for later review.
LOEP teacher, Mr. Gbah (barely visible on the right of the above picture), is a full time teacher at one of LOEP's partner orphan schools, is himself a full-time student at University of Liberia and volunteers each evening to teach adult literacy classes in this facility.  He is an active lay leader in the church and, as an educator, takes an acitve role in the success of the Christ Redeemer School.
As many as six students crowd onto each bench/desk in their classroom each day.  The broom is used to tamp down loose dust on the hard-packed dirt floor.  Liberian schools were still on Christmas break when the LOEP team visited in early January.  Literacy classes, however, were still being held and literacy students who arrived for their evening class while we visited are pictured below.
            Neighborhood children some of whom attend the CRS School

Science Test for grade 5/6
Some of the dedicated teachers at CRS who volunteer their time to teach in the community school.