The programme is designed to lay the ground work and help build skills capacity and expertise within the Liberian Ministry of Education so it can undertake the future building of the estimated 1,500 new schools the country needs. It is estimated that more than 50% of Liberia’s schools were destroyed during a 23-year period, which included two civil wars.
The project is being led by Aecom’s UK schools team and includes project managers, cost consultants and engineers from the firm’s UK and Africa operations, including the UK offices of Davis Langdon. The team will work closely with local contractors and architects from the World Bank.
The schools encompass nursery through secondary education. Aecom is delivering the construction programme alongside the Republic of Liberia, the World Bank and the development charity Plan International.
The schools are being built in 40 locations, with construction split into two phases to accommodate the six-month rainy season that makes many roads impassable. The first phase of the programme is scheduled for completion during June 2013.
Improving the nation’s education infrastructure is a key component of Liberia’s Poverty Reduction Strategy. A generation of young people in Liberia has had little or no access to education, and many were child soldiers during the period of political and economic instability,. The current administration, which has been led by president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf since 2006, is working to improve children’s access to education.
“This development will ensure that Liberia has the education infrastructure it needs to prosper,” said Darren Talbot, schools lead, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Davis Langdon. “We will equip the Ministry of Education with the skills and knowledge to maintain and manage these schools, and to build more schools in the future.”