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ERIC Number: EJ988356
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1478-8497
Keeping on: How ALP Brings Disaffected Youth Back to School in Liberia
von Hahmann, Gail; Tengbeh, Josephine F. D.
International Journal on School Disaffection, v5 n2 p6-12 2008
Moses is entering 7th grade this semester. He is a graduate of the Accelerated Learning Program (ALP), a Liberian government initiative to assist over-age students to complete six grades of primary school in three years. He has all the interests of a typical 15-year old--fixing generators, playing football, earning money to buy a school uniform. Yet, in 1992 when he was born in Gbarnga (pronounced "Banga"), a town 75 miles outside the capital, Monrovia, Liberia's civil war was in its third year. In that same year, rebel forces attacked the capital and shockwaves were felt around the country. During the 1990's the lives of families like Moses' were dominated by fear and uncertainty. The 1997 national presidential and legislative elections brought a respite from the fighting as well as the hope that those who had fled could return home. That same year, Moses' father left his wife and children in Danane and returned to Monrovia to find work and to begin to re-establish a home for his family. In the education sector, schools had to be rebuilt, teachers found and re-trained, students located, assessed, and in some cases, urged back to school. One of the biggest tasks faced by the Ministry of Education was to reintegrate the thousands of "over-age" learners who, over the course of the wars, had either never attended school or had never completed the sixth grade. Ministry officials sought effective models for an "accelerated learning" program that would help Liberia's over-age learners achieve a primary education. ALP was conceived in 1998, based on a model from Uganda called Complementary Opportunities for Primary Education (COPE). The curriculum accelerates learning by consolidating content so that learners can complete two grades in one year. Student-centered, practical methods assist over-age learners to absorb concepts and practice skills, enabling them to complete the conventional six-year primary program in three years. Moses' story, interwoven as it is with the continuing story of ALP, is a tribute to Liberia's people who have struggled from day to day to maintain stability where they could, to create a semblance of order even if surrounded by chaos, to patch together schools, curricula, textbooks; to grab the hardcopy and the hard drive in case one never sees his or her office or computer again; to flee; return; clean up and start again. (Contains 21 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Liberia