More Than Me and TrueSchool Studio partnership extends free education to over 20,000 students in Liberia in the next two years
TrueSchool Studio is excited to announce its partnership with More Than Me – a Monrovia based foundation and academy. Together we are embarking on a bold new plan with the Liberian Ministry of Education called Partnership Schools for Liberia to reform the country’s education system by providing every Liberian child, regardless of family background or income, access to a free education. Inspired by New Orleans, which rebuilt its own decimated educational infrastructure by opening its schools up to the charter system following Hurricane Katrina, Liberia is partnering with organizations like More Than Me to help relaunch schools.
More Than Me (MTM) will operate 6 schools across Liberia and TrueSchool Studio will train 14 School Capacity Leads (SCL). The SCLs attended rigorous training at MTM University, developed and led by TrueSchool Studio. TrueSchool Studio has built the MTM University with the aim of establishing a model of teacher leadership development and teacher-led innovation in Africa and the developing world. Together, TrueSchool Studio and SCLs are co-creating strategies to improve teacher and student attendance and to build positive, safe, healthy, and effective school cultures with high expectations for student learning. TrueSchool Studio will continue to provide support and coaching alongside the SCLs to over 54 Liberian teachers in Fofee Town, Bogbeh, Hill Town, Moore Town, Golodee, and Bombomma communities in Liberia.
TrueSchool Studio’s Founder and CEO Amy Vreeland is already on the ground working with Liberian educators, “This is an unprecedented opportunity to truly transform an education system. Due to war and Ebola, Liberia’s children have been deprived an essential human right — access to a free, quality education. As the Liberian government has stated, this is a national emergency. We are addressing this need by immediately expanding the More Than Me model of safety, health, and quality education to 6 new partner schools. Within 5 years, we plan to reach 500 schools. We are also transforming the teaching profession in Liberia — we are building the next generation of visionary educators who will lead enduring change and improvement for students across the country. We’re not going to stop until Liberia serves as a model for the rapid improvement of a nation’s entire education system.”
The first cohort of SCL’s have graduated the first phase of TrueSchool Studio’s training at MTM University and are now on-site at their schools. Some of the SCLs have moved as far as 7 hours outside of Monrovia. Community members will apprentice with local SCL’s until they become onsite community experts in education, safety, or health.
All stakeholders involved in Liberia’s education initiative understand the sobering realities they are up against. Liberia is the 6th poorest country in the world as measured by GDP per capita. With 14 years of civil war from 1990 to 2003 and the Ebola epidemic between 2014-2015, the country’s economy deteriorated significantly and 85% of the population is unemployed. This work will not only bring quality education to communities, but also quality jobs.
There is political will in Liberia, however, like never seen before. Communities are united to rebuild their schools — and rapidly. All actors involved are moving at an unprecedented pace. TrueSchool Studio, More Than Me, and Liberian educators are rebuilding schools grounded in very real student and community needs.
As Liberia embarks upon this bold mission to ensure that every child has access to a quality education we invite you to follow along on More Than Me, TrueSchool Studio, and Liberia’s progress with the hashtag #LiberiaIsASchool.
To chart a new course for Liberia we need all minds on deck.