PSL YEAR 1 EVALUATION SHOWS SUBSTANTIAL LEARNING GAINS ARE BOTH POSSIBLE AND AFFORDABLE FOR LIBERIA - STREET CHILD PERSPECTIVE
Street Child welcomes the release of today's evaluation by the Center for Global Development (CGD) and Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) of the first year of the Partnership Schools for Liberia (PSL) program. PSL has been a topic that has generated much commentary and speculation, informed and misinformed, in the past 18 months. This report brings welcome hard facts to the table.
Above all, it is now a fact that schools under PSL operator management have seen considerable jumps in learning outcomes - even in year one. Street Child is delighted to be classified as one of three operators to have achieved 'statistically significant' learning gains in year one - in particular as our model is predicated on investments and longer-term changes that we do not expect the real benefits of which to emerge until year three.
The report also highlights various challenges. It is right to do so. In a country like Liberia, whose education system has been battered by years of conflict and Ebola, changing the status quo is not easy. The report was designed to provide candid feedback to both operators and the Ministry of Education, and much of that feedback is already being addressed in the second year of the program. Street Child has learned a lot in year one. Year two will be even better.
One of the main issues the report highlights is the long-term affordability and comparative value of the learning gains. While all providers are working towards financial sustainability, Street Child spent $60 per pupil - only fractionally over the $50 per pupil long-term target (on top of the Ministry of Education budget of $50 per pupil). Street Child is delighted in year 1 to lead the argument for the case that significant learning gains can be attained at an affordable price.