Literacy is the key to national development

Applied Scholastics Liberia Partners with Cuttington University for Effective Competency-Based Learning

While other large-scale social crises such as COVID may attract immediate attention, endemic deterioration in education standards and widespread illiteracy are the long-term and enduring perils of life in the region.

To confront this harsh reality and building on 16 years of successful human rights and literacy programs in West Africa, Liberian Joseph Yarsiah and American lawyer Tim Bowles recently transmitted to the leaders of the University of Cuttington an ambitious undertaking to improve the effectiveness of learning.

Yarsiah and Bowles began their collaboration in 2006 by creating the African Leadership Campaign for Human Rights. This initiative has grown every year in Liberia, Ghana and Sierra Leone, activating thousands of young people as human rights educators, teaching by example and action.

The devastation that Ebola (2014-2016) inflicted on Liberia and the region diverted attention from Yarsiah and Bowles. “Illiteracy clearly drove the wide sweep of this terrifying event. Poor or non-existent education, itself a violation of human rights, makes possible violations of the other 29 articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. United Nations man,” Yarsiah said.

“So we decided in 2016 to seek a partnership with Applied Scholastics International,” Bowles said. “The organization’s successes in several African countries and around the world clearly show its qualifications to solve illiteracy. Applied Scholastics has done this through American author and humanitarian L. Ron Hubbard’s proven and effective learning methodology commonly referred to as “Study Technology.” From my personal experience in my 1970s law studies and the tangible benefits of the methodology for our two daughters throughout their schooling, Study Technology clearly enhances students’ conceptual understanding and competent application of any subject. and at any level. Now celebrating its 50th anniversarye anniversary, Applied Scholastics has empowered countless young people to realize the true joy of learning, the key to their lifelong well-being and competent contributions to their communities.

Thus, through their Africa Literacy Campaign (ALC), Yarsiah and Bowles have worked over the past six years with local youth leaders and a range of accomplished American and South African educators to introduce study technology to Liberian ministries, policy makers, teachers and students. ALC programs have included ● repeated training of teachers and students in greater Monrovia, Kakata and Tubmanburg; ● three years of implementation (2017-2019) as part of AMEU Monrovia’s “Vacation Bridge” high school-university transition program; and ● briefings for senior government officials and policy makers.

“With COVID restrictions easing, it’s time to bring the campaign back to pre-2020 levels and accelerate from there,” Yarsiah remarked.

Bowles added: “The individual isolation and societal fragmentation of the pandemic are behind us. In our meetings this week with the leadership of the University of Cuttington and other stakeholders, we are creating the necessary collaborations to deliver this urgently needed assistance to this remarkable country.

Dr Amanze Charles Ihedioha, Cuttington’s Vice President for Academic Affairs, agreed: “Our academic leadership is committed to bringing innovative approaches to education. We are excited about our budding partnership with Applied Scholastics as one such avenue.

Mr. Yarsiah was also positive. “Those who are blessed with the tools and opportunity to improve societal conditions, especially in the education sector, have a responsibility to do so. Our mission is to empower the greatest resource we have – our young people – to achieve in their lifetime what we have all dreamed of, a nation once again educated, economically vibrant, culturally vibrant and at lasting peace.

About Shirley L. Kreger

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