Photos for NGOs & UN Agencies: No Space for Learning
There are not enough classrooms or schools in Liberia. Though only about 40 percent of boys and girls attend school, they are still horribly over crowded and underfunded.
At the Paynesville Community School in Monrovia, Liberia, students attend either a morning or an afternoon session of classes. There are over 2,000 students in the morning session and just as many in the afternoon session. With only 38 teachers, there are more than fifty students per teacher. Students sit three or four to a desk, and students who arrive late are forced to sit on the floor. Often more than one class takes place in the same space. Very few get individual attention from teachers, and little learning takes place. Some students repeat grades so often that it's common to find a huge age range in each class. Most of these students will not advance past high school, and few will find jobs anywhere but the informal sector.
Despite these inadquacies, the many children who can't afford to attend school still linger around the gates, glancing in jealously at those who can.
Commissioned by UNESCO