Schools maintain contact despite Ebola
Throughout the Ebola crisis schools here were able to make contact with some of their link teachers by text, sending messages of support and sympathy. We have only heard of the death of one pupil and one teacher. The schools in Bo were closed for 9 months and some buildings have suffered damage due to lack of maintenance. We cannot imagine how difficult that long period of confinement with little social interaction was like. The whole education system was thrown into turmoil with pupils not able to sit their exams and proceed to the next grade.
When they re-opened in April 2015 we heard from one school that many pupils were slow to return due to fear of the virus, since the official ‘all-clear’ wasn’t announced til October. Many Leamington and Warwick schools broke with our usual protocol and held fundraising events for post-Ebola support (always popular- cake sales, non-uniform days and even a ‘Boogie for Bo’ outdoor disco!) We are currently working on an exchange project where pupils are writing about ‘Keeping ourselves safe’. Children here have made posters and written texts about aspects of safety such as food hygiene, road and water safety and Esafety. We are very much looking forward to receiving the work from Bo to see what aspects of safety their pupils have chosen to write about.
Mair and Paul will be meeting many of the link teachers and visiting some of our schools so we look forward to hearing up-dates on their return. We hope that we shall be able to send another group of teachers to Bo under the “Connecting Classrooms” scheme of the British Council and a return visit by teachers from Bo during 2017. Meanwhile, plans are already underway for our next Day of the African Child here in Leamington, June 2016