Liberia: Make early childhood education compulsory

A US-based social work professional has called for early childhood education to be made compulsory in the West African nation of Liberia.

Massa Dopoh’s call was contained in the pages of a book, she authored recently, which looks at early childhood education in the country. 

Early Childhood Education (ECE)  as a compulsory education, she notes, will yield benefits and results for a country, one of the poorest in the world, still recovering from bloody years of civil war. 

It will contribute to the growth of the economy by giving parents the opportunities and flexibility to join the working class or labor force, Ms. Dopoh adds

She notes that “it is no doubt that the implementation of Early Childhood Education in Liberia could break the intergenerational cycles of poverty faced by millions of Liberians today and increase the growth of higher education”

Titled  Evidenced-Based Intervention Approach to Addressing Early Childhood Education in Liberia: The Importance of Utilizing Family Systems Theory: Independent Study, the book is available at Amazon.

In the book, the product of extensive research, including two research trips to Liberia, Dopoh, who has a masters in social work from North Dakota University, also discusses “a brief history of Liberia’s education sector, history of early childhood education, interventions, research, policy, the role of early childhood education, the theoretical base, family systems and the role of social workers. 

It further considers “countries with success stories of early childhood education, curriculum, professional development resources for early childhood Educators, and recommendations to the government of Liberia.”

Dopoh notes that the purpose of the book is “to provide the comprehensive and integrative evidence-based research findings on the importance of Early Childhood Education and to present Early Childhood Education as a compulsory part of the educational curriculum in Liberia.”

Dopoh believes that “implementing an Evidence-based Intervention Approach to Addressing Early Childhood Education in Liberia: Utilizing Family Systems will not only strengthen the growth and productivity of the education sector of Liberia but will build the personal and social development of children including improved cognitive development and emotional development.”

She admits that as a child from the underprivileged class in Liberia, she did not benefit from early childhood education programs and “seeing the positive impact it has on my daughter’s learning process, I dedicated my Capstone Project focusing on the quality of early childhood education for Liberian children especially less-privileged children.” 

Dopoh hopes to focus on providing professional development resources and recommendations to the Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Education on the way forward in prioritizing the importance of Early Childhood Education as a compulsory education program for the children of Liberia.