A newly-established educational social enterprise, TRIBE, recently launched a youth unemployment and education research program. The research is a part of a Global Map the System Program that challenges young people to think differently about social and environmental change. TRIBE seeks to assess youth unemployment across Liberia with a particular interest in identifying current skill gaps and limitations on access to opportunities and resources.
Liberia’s youthful population possesses great potential for economic growth and sustainable political governance. However, the lack of productivity, partly due to the limitation in opportunities to prepare this young population for this challenge poses a serious threat to the country’s future.
The program theme is dubbed, “Youth Unemployment: Assessing the Curricula Framework for Improving Learning Outcomes to Guarantee Student Success,” and the team is using students with high school preparation as the baseline for the study.
The study, which is conducted in collaboration with Brima Bangura, CEO of Revalite and Lima Sarhadi, Founder of AFEC, will generate key insights, qualitatively analyze on-the-ground interventions, map the intensity of interventions against government priority areas, then provide policy and program recommendations with respect to the gaps identified within the system.
Wainright Acquoi, the Co-founder & CEO of TRIBE stated that The Map the System Research Program is one of several programs the institution will be launching this year. “We have designed and will launch an additional two programs including a Summer Boot Camp and a High School Entrepreneurship Program. We intend to create innovative programs that can equip high school students with cognitive, socio-economic, and behavioral skills in addition to expand their social capital to thrive in an uncertain future of work.”
The research is being conducted in five schools across Monrovia, with a focus on examining internal school efficiencies, curricula development, and the quality of education students acquire. The following high schools are participating in the study, Soltiamon Christian School System, G. W. Gibson High School, Mildred Taylor Seventh Day Adventist High School, J. J. Roberts United Methodist High School, and Cathedral Catholic High School.
The team is additionally interviewing stakeholders in the Liberian education and youth sectors, and conducting an online survey to assess both employed and unemployed youth within the labor market to understand what key factors, in addition to the skillset, influence their employment or lack of employment. They intend to leverage insights from their research to design and implement their follow-up edutech and entrepreneurship programs that seek to prepare high school students for the workforce.
TRIBE is working to develop into the first Liberian youth-led social venture to use research and technological tools to improve learning outcomes and prepare high school students for the future of work.
James Kollie, one of TRIBE’s Co-founders and Administrator, acknowledged that the research has received a good reception. “Education stakeholders from government, non-governmental institutions, and school have embraced and recognized the significance of the initiative. We have received quite a good number of responses to our online survey and conducted several interviews with stakeholders.”