Sex for an A+? Imagine if you during primary school or your child were faced with this question – every, single, day.
Imagine children shoulder to shoulder in the dirt, a tarp overhead, listening to a teacher who themselves can barely write a full sentence. For those of you who have travelled, or maybe volunteered in a country like Honduras or Kenya, this image may not be too far off from the saddening realities you have seen. You may not have seen it with your own two eyes, but you can imagine it, you get it. And you think to yourself, if only XYZ developing country had more money, additional resources, it could all be fixed. Liberia, is no different on the surface level.
But, Liberia, it’s more complicated than that. All the above is true here too, but the real problems exist at a much darker level, far beyond the palm trees and the oceanside sunsets. In Liberia, the scariest problems lie deep within the very fabric of society. In Liberia, corruption is not just something that happens at the top. Liberian students graduate from college, yes, but many can barely write a full sentence, or even turn on a computer. Why? Because in Liberia, you can get anything, and I mean anything, for the right price. Sometimes that price is dirty, ripped bank notes slyly handed over to an awaiting police officer. Other times, it’s large hidden deposits from multinational extractive industry companies into the hands of Liberian government officials. But then, in education? It can be a teacher taking a young student, an innocent, ambitious young girl, a girl with hopes and dreams, and abusing her, violating her – raping her.
But hey, that girl now has an A+. This violence will happen again tomorrow, and next week when you have forgotten about this post you read, and next year when that same innocent girl is about to graduate from primary school.
No matter what way this issue is looked at, it is in no way ok what is going on in Liberia’s education system. And right now? We could be at a historic turning point.
The current government, with a year and a half left in office before the Presidential election, is taking a bold bet on a private public partnership to redesign the entire national primary school system. And then, there is us. Me from The Just School and a smattering of dreamers living in Liberia that haven’t yet lost hope. The Just School movement is just getting going, but with our own funding, and a idealistically ambitious (some say impossible) mandate, our tolerance for risk is incredible high.
So, if this post doesn’t demoralize you, but instead hits somewhere deep within your soul, let’s talk. I’m looking for two founding team members to move to Liberia, to join the fight in redesigning a system where no longer, not tomorrow, not next week, nor next year, is Sex for an A+ ever going to happen again.
firstname.lastname@example.org, let’s talk.
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