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Sierra Leone Ebola School Closings Bring Education to Radio

Linda Poon | NPR   in  ·
February 23, 2015

Every day, 17-year-old Kaday goes to school by turning on the radio.

She’s one of the million school-age children in Sierra Leone who’ve had no classroom to go to since July. That’s when the government closed all schools to curb the spread of Ebola.

But that doesn’t mean the kids have stopped learning. In October, the government launched a radio education program, partnering with UNICEF and several development organizations. Teachers write and record hourlong lessons that are broadcast on 41 government radio stations, as well as the country’s only TV channel. Younger children listen in the morning; older ones tune in during the afternoon and evening.

“This is to ensure that children’s rights to education is not disrupted even when schools have been closed,” says Wongani Grace Taulo, UNICEF’s education chief in Sierra Leone. “It’s been more than half a year of school closure. The implications can be devastating when children just stay home [and] lose out on their academic gains.”

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