AT A school in the township of West Point, Monrovia, a teacher should be halfway through her maths lesson. Instead she is eating lunch. A din echoes around the room of the government-run school as 70 pupils chat, fidget or sleep on their desks. Neither these pupils nor the rest of Liberia is learning much. Bad teaching, a lack of accountability and a meagre budget have led to awful schools. Fourteen years of civil war and, more recently, the Ebola virus have stymied reforms. Children’s prospects are shocking. More than one-third of second-grade pupils cannot read a word; since many are held back, teenagers often share classes with six year olds (see chart). In 2014 only 13 candidates out of 15,000 passed an entrance exam to the University of Liberia. In 2013 none did.
Madison, however, continues with its non diverse K-12 governance.