This presentation discusses three ways AEP supports the Liberian formal education system which may be considered for other settings. The Accelerated Quality Education for Liberian Children (AQE) works with the Liberian Ministry of Education to develop, test and implement policies; adapt and use curricula and teacher training materials; engage communities in child enrollment and safety; integrate monitoring and support tools; and renovate classrooms. The activity is transitioning with the MOE in 2019 – 2020 to identify AEP components for formal system integration.
1. Enrollment and transition policy – AEP supports formal education systems by getting out-of-school, overage children into school through community outreach, helping them catch up and transition into the formal system. AQE developed and tested a Learner Eligibility, Completion and Transition policy with the MOE who then approved it, setting criteria and standards for learners graduating from AEP levels 1, 2 and 3 to transition into the formal system at grades 3, 5 or 7 respectively. If learners are still overage, they transition to the next AEP level. AQE holds workshops with MOE Officers and schools to develop action plans for supporting learner transition.
2. Collaboration on school monitoring and support – Initially, AQE developed tools with a MOE Technical Working Group for AEP classroom observation to coach teachers and inform training. Recently, AQE, the MOE and stakeholders developed a harmonized observation tool and process to use in both AEP and conventional school settings. Joint piloting has revealed challenges in non-AEP lesson structures that have come to MOE attention. This pilot goes through September 2019, followed by a reflection meeting between AQE, the MOE and stakeholders.
AQE also provides the opportunity for conventional school teachers to crosspollinate skills learned through AEP training. An external mid-term performance evaluation conducted by Social Impact “found evidence of crosspollination between conventional and A[E]P classrooms; several facilitators reported using AQE lesson plans to supplement their teaching in conventional schools, while in one site, some of the conventional school children are voluntarily sitting in on A[E]P classes for further enrichment” (Social Impact, pg vii).
3. Integration of AEP with conventional school system – the MOE is leading the effort to identify and test elements from AEP to be directly integrated into the formal system so that schools, principals and teachers can serve all populations with simultaneous tracks through a “one-school” approach. Early learning will be available by the time of this presentation. Two efforts underway already:
• Teachers and principals at 12 AQE sites are piloting the one-school approach, getting trained in AEP and delivering conventional and AEP classes within the regular teaching schedule, building the schools’ and MOE capacity to directly engage and serve overage learners and their families.
• The MOE, AQE and teacher training institutions will explore and test inclusion of AEP methods and instruction in pre-service training for conventional school teachers, building skills of the workforce to address the needs of overage learners.