My name is Rugiatu Kamara. I am a teacher. I teach at the Elsielisk Preparatory school I got my teacher certificate from portloko teachers college. Presently I do home school lesson for my community members from age 3-15 years. So I took this risk in order to help sustain the educational aspect of the children whilst they are at home not going to school due to this Ebola disease in the country.
I was personal affected by Ebola. I am a qualified teacher and we had close school by September and should have reopened by now but because of this epidemic all schools had not yet been opened till now. Since that time I have just been loafing around at home doing nothing at all. And so I personally very much aware of education. I was affected by the deadly Ebola disease.
Ebola really affected me because schools have not yet resume for the academic years, So I sat one day in my house and thought to myself that I need to find a means of helping these children’s that are just roaming all around in my community each and every day. And seeing those in such state really makes me sad and I also know that there parent too are not happy leaving them idle at home and going to the offices or business places. And when they get back at home they will be tired and sleepy after a long day of play. So I decided to facilitate a home school lesson wherein they will be occupied when there parent live for work. That was how the idea of helping these came about.
The family that I belonged to and my community can are really in support of the educating the younger and older ones that are willing to learn. With educational you can achieve the impossibilities on earth. And my family members are very much aware of education. Because it is priceless and permanent Being an educated person makes you to become someone that is very prominent and outspoken.
The home lesson started from Monday to Fridays. Between the hours of 9:00am -1:00 pm in the afternoon hours. I and my colleague do teach different subjects that are for both Junior and senior school levels. And at the ends of each lesson class we gave each student assignment that they can occupy themselves with when they are at home. And we teach them according to the syllabus.
I took this job because I have been passion and sympathy for the community especially for the younger kids. Schools had been closed since September and the Ebola disease which is a threat to the whole country has made education gone backwards for school going pupils an even for the teachers. Most children just sit at home idle after their parents have gone to work. And I am a qualified teacher who just sits at home doing nothing. Whilst the children are languishing at home doing absolutely nothing at all to keep them busy academically. Although this home school lesson does not cater for large number of children because of the sitting accommodation but my community do benefit from it a lot. So I decided to get the children occupied with the syllabus for the academic year in order for them have not to miss the teachings that they should been thought in school.
My job as a teacher is very important to me and the community for example when a child is born he/she does not know how to do things at home. Instead they have to be taught by their family to do things members that are around them how to say things and even what they should do. Right from the home teaching starts. The mother is the first teacher of her child. But not everyone is born to be a professional teacher. That why children go to school where they will meet people whose passion is to teach. Even in the colleges they also have lecturers that are trained to impact knowledge in them so therefore teachings Job is much important.
It is very difficult teaching during this time of crisis that we have in Sierra Leone. There is no enough space to accommodate all the children that we have in this community. Even the furniture’s that we use as desk and chair are not proper and comfortable for the younger kids. There is even difficulty with some of the parent in bringing their wards to class at the specified time that is classes starts at 9:00am and every child is expected to be on time.
I am praying fervently to the almighty God for such a disease like Ebola to ever happen in Sierra Leone. But if it happens my only advice to the parents and even the government head. I know they are trying to protect lives and also the children. But my own advice to my colleagues is that please has pity on the children and help them in your own little way. By conducting a home school lessons like the one I volunteered to open at home for my community. Even if this home school lesson is opened in every area/community. The children should not be left idle at home doing nothing. These kids are the future leaders of this our beloved country Sierra Leone. And in order for them to achieve this goal they need to be taught well and trained in school
I really thank God for my life because nothing happened to me during this time of crisis. And my family members are safe. We only have some issues. The private school is different from the government schools. Even if you don’t work you’ll be paid. But the private school does not operate that way. Just imagine I have been out of job since September to this day and I have my kids and other family members to cater for. And I have no one to help me.
Now, I know there is hope and there is a light at the end and with God I know things will get back to normal. We only need to continue taking precautions and abstain from touching or washing dead bodies. We should also not neglect the message that are being passed on in the radios, television about how to prevent this disease from entering into our houses. But I have the faith that we are going to overcome this very soon.
My struggle now is just that there is not enough space to accommodate these children. there is not enough tables and chairs to sit and write on. The atmosphere is not conducive at all for learning. We are just squeezing to help the children during this Ebola crisis.
Yes the teachings professional is a part of the whole struggle. It is not possible for everyone to know how to read and write. Some are illiterate. But yet still parent find it hard to abide by the rules
The manner in which i saw the cooperation of the and parent and the mission of the children towards learning really kept me strong and never disappointed. These children are really egger to learn. You can see that they want to continue schooling again if not for this Ebola disease that has made everything stand still in the country. Despite all the odds they still have faith and they are committed although some don’t come early on time, but yet still when they come you see the willingness in them to go through every exercise in class.
I was fighting against Ebola who serves as a threat that wants to bring our education system to zero. And I stood by the grace of the almighty God who kept on protecting us and giving us the zeal and courage every day to continue with classes. Through I am not a nurse and I do not have the medicines to protect them. But with the help of God, none of them have been sick or even contacted the virus. Even in my community, we have never had a case of suspected Ebola people or confirmed cases. There is always soap and water to wash their hands when they come to class and even when leaving for their various homes.
There are so many things that have gone backwards due to this Ebola disease in Sierra Leone. So students have lack wisdom and what they were taught before in school most of them do not remember it now. Even the business places have lost so many good things. But it’s only with the help of God that has kept us going strong. And I also appreciate the parents that are cooperating in doing this home school lesson and cannot understand the threat of this deadly virus called.
The only way to help them is to teach them how and what they can do to help eradicate this virus from their community. Also we use the media to transmit messages in different language across the county. There are so methods that we use to teach using language and signs to communicate well. This is what is required to fight Ebola disease out of our communities.
My wish for my beloved country Sierra Leone is that we never be faced with such thing like the Ebola disease again. And I wish that things will get back to how it was before and even be better than how it was. We all live happy as a one big family walk lot of fun and love amongst us.
This is a lesson for us Sierra Leoneans now. There is a law of not touching the dead bodies and avoid body contact amongst ourselves. Keeping sick persons in your house is very risky and not safe for you. But as soon as they announce that we have zero case and we are free from Ebola. People will just change and ignore the precautions that were giving and they will start condoling all sorts of things they use to do before. In wining this fight we have to go through process and abide by the rules. We do not know if this disease will be really gone for real and its not going to come back. Let us continue listen to what the doctors are saying to us so that we can be set free from the Ebola virus in Sierra Leone.
What I think will be my contribution to help the government to accomplish this fight against Ebola is to continue giving instruments to my students to give the parents when they get home is to always use soap, Detrol and water to wash their hands when they get home. And even when visitors come to visit them in there houses I also tell them not to get any body contact with strangers or even when they do that they should always have sanitizers them whenever they go to. They also are there to remind there parent not to keep sick person at home but instead they should take them to the hospital or call 117