Liberia: MoE Trains Teachers in 'New Methods'

Authorities at the Ministry of Education (MoE) have taken a giant step to improve the skills of teachers, who teach reading to young students, a release has said.

According to the release, on July 23, 2019, the MoE signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Liberian Association of Literacy Educators (ALE) to train in-service teachers, who want to improve their skills in teaching reading.

The ALE has created a cost effective and accessible program to give teachers the necessary skills to teach children to read well. At the end of the training, the release said teachers will receive the Teaching Early Grade Reading Endorsement (TEGRE), which curricula will focus on the major pillars of reading: phonological awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension.

The ALE will teach some of the teachers with many hands-on activities to further their knowledge of the pillars that can then be applied to the actual classroom experience.

"The TEGRE is different from the C-Certificate in that it is shorter, less expensive, and focused, specifically on the area of reading," the release said.

Accordingly, the MOE-endorsed curricula will be divided into three modules to include Phonological Awareness and Phonics, Fluency and Accuracy, and Vocabulary and Comprehension, each offering 30 hours of classroom instruction. The Modules will be offered on four consecutive Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., where teachers, who successfully complete all three modules will receive an endorsement certification from the MoE.

All modules will be taught by certified ALE trainers, who themselves have undergone over 180 hours of intensive training in early grade reading pedagogy.

The tuition for each module will be US$20.

In addition, a registration fee of US$10, required before the beginning of each module, will cover administrative fees, while a Module Materials Packet with all necessary hand-outs, and a Module Take-Away designed to be used in the classroom.

For the 2019-20 school year, pilot sites will be in Margibi and Bong counties.

ALE is a Liberian non-governmental organization (NGO) with a mission to improve the reading knowledge and teaching skills of primary grade teachers using Liberia Reads! methodology. Liberia Reads! is a highly effective, low cost curriculum specifically developed by Geri Melosh, a former Peace Corps teacher, for Liberian educators. An independent assessment of Liberia Reads! students found that 73% of assessed 3rd graders met or exceeded international reading benchmarks.

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