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Student Workbooks: Keeping Students Learning During COVID-19

At Enrich the Mind, our goal is to develop sustainable solutions to the challenges faced by Liberia's education sector. To achieve this goal, we focus on bridging the resource gap to improve literacy and the conditions for teaching and learning in schools. Therefore, when our team received word that schools would be closed in Liberia due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our immediate concern was how the closure would impact students. We knew that the country’s infrastructure does not currently support the systematic implementation of distance learning, and schools do not have enough textbooks or other academic resources that students can use at home. Therefore, most students would not have the opportunity to continue learning while schools were closed.

To help mitigate the impact of the pandemic, our team decided to create student workbooks for our adopted school – Matilda Newport Jr. High School. We consulted with the school’s principal and the Monrovia Consolidated School System’s superintendent to determine whether they felt that this would be of use to the students and both approved the idea. The workbooks were developed for 7th , 8th and 9th graders and cover topics in English, Math and Science, most of which were already taught during the year. The 9th grade version also includes new material to introduce students to some of the coursework that they will learn in senior high school. The books also include answers to all the odd problems so that students can check their understanding of the material. We intend for students to use the workbooks to keep their minds active during their time away from school.

This initiative is a pilot project. We envision the workbooks being used as an important source of data for the teachers and our team. Specifically, students will be asked to turn in the workbooks when they return to school.

Our plan is to review their work to:

  1. Assess the value of the workbooks
  2. Determine which topics students have learned and which ones need to be retaught
  3. Inform the development of future learning aids. We will also train the teachers to use the workbooks as a teaching aid during the school year.

We are committed to improving the learning outcomes of students in Liberia and look forward to sharing our progress with you!

Enrich the Mind, a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization whose goal is to increase the youth literacy rate in Liberia, and ensure that the youth of Liberia are better prepared to succeed academically, enter the workforce, and become productive citizens.

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