Education in Liberia

Africa’s oldest republic, Liberia has faced decades of intermittent instability and conflict since the 1980’s, and, in many ways, is still recovering from the Ebola outbreak in 2015, when schools were closed for an entire year. Liberia suffers from one of the highest recorded rates of out-of-school children in the world, with 56% of primary-school-age children currently missing out on an education.

Students who do manage to enroll must overcome barriers to learning in the classroom. With over 30 languages spoken throughout Liberia, students speaking a dialect at home may struggle to learn even basic concepts when they are taught in English, the official language of instruction. Unqualified teachers exacerbate the problem and may lead parents to withdraw their students from school.


Number of children out of school (primary school)


Percent of children out of school (primary school age)


Government expenditure on education (as % of government expenditure)


Qualified teachers in primary school

Barriers to Learning

Child Labor

Being forced to work / Working


Losing your parents


Being a girl


Speaking a different language

Learning Environment

Struggling to learn


Being poor

What We’re Doing

In 2016, Luminos scaled up the Second Chance model, launching a new program in Liberia. To date, we have reached over 5,000 students. While the play-based approach to learning remains the same, we have increased the time spent on basic literacy and numeracy. Learning facilitators now receive special training on phonics, and our students spend about 4x as many classroom hours on reading in comparison to their government school peers.

The University of Sussex is currently studying our experience transferring the Second Chance model from Ethiopia to Liberia with the objective of identifying the principles that can make for successful accelerated learning for out-of-school children in Sub-Saharan Africa.

“I want to teach other children how to read.”

Meet Mechan


Children given a second
chance education


Transition to
mainstream school


Of students are girls


Second Chance facilitators
and partners trained

2018 Results

Implementing Partners


Liberia Institute for the Promotion of Academic Excellence

Restoring Our Children’s Hope

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+1 781 333 8317

The Luminos Fund is a 501(c)(3), tax-exempt charitable organization registered in the United States (EIN 36-4817073).