By Ransford Lube-Metzger
According to a recent UNESCO global estimate, over 89% of children are currently out of school because of COVID-19 closures.
In Sierra Leone, the current disruption of lessons has further jeopardized an already low completion rate for junior secondary school, which is at 49 per cent. The pandemic also has the potential to worsen the numeracy and reading skills, which are already undesirably low among students across Sierra Leone.
With all of these developments, the ex-pupils association of the St. Joseph’s Secondary School has supported the school with two hand washing stations, 2,250 facemasks where each pupil, invigilator and teacher will have two masks each and also information and education messages on Corona will be pasted in key areas within the school. According to Emerica King, President of the ex-pupils association, this is to help the government in the fight against COVID-19 and to ensure that none of their pupils are infected with any case of COVID-19. She went on to call on all parents to ensure that they watch the health of their children if they think they are not well she should not attend school but stay home and call medical officials to take their health.
Receiving the items on behalf of the school and Board, Senior Secondary School Principal Alberta Demby thanked the Association for their timely intervention towards alleviating the needs of the school at this time. she went on to thank them and promised them that they will use the items judiciously and for its intended purpose. According to Rachel Parker, they have ensured they put all modalities in place to welcoming the re-opening of schools as the girls had been home for far too long and referred to this step by the government as laudable and will make these girls more proactive in the school work.
She added this is a test case for the government as the results at the end of the exams will be one of admiration. She noted that they have created more space for the pupils so that they will be able to adhere to the preventive measure especially with the social distance which will even make the pupils not to be involved in examination malpractices.