Educate 50 vulnerable children in Sierra Leone

by EducAid Sierra Leone
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Educate 50 vulnerable children in Sierra Leone
Educate 50 vulnerable children in Sierra Leone
Educate 50 vulnerable children in Sierra Leone
Educate 50 vulnerable children in Sierra Leone
Educate 50 vulnerable children in Sierra Leone
Educate 50 vulnerable children in Sierra Leone
Educate 50 vulnerable children in Sierra Leone
Educate 50 vulnerable children in Sierra Leone
Educate 50 vulnerable children in Sierra Leone
Handwashing on the first day of school at Maronka
Handwashing on the first day of school at Maronka

Since our last update, EducAid’s Maronka Primary School has been filled with activity and abuzz with learning.

On 5th October, schools in Sierra Leone reopened for the 2020-21 school year. Maronka welcomed 110 students. This number includes 56 home students who live at school and 44 day students. 49% of Maronka's 110 pupils are girls with 39 of these girls living at school.

Just a few days later on 8th October, the world was watching as Maronka Primary School was showcased as part of T4's World Education Week. EducAid's Maronka School was chosen as one of T4's top 100 schools around the world. The goal of the week was for schools to share their collective experience and strategies to improve education around the world. EducAid’s Maronka Team did a wonderful job showcasing Maronka and EducAid’s sustainable school improvement programme whilst offered practical resources for engaging communities in the safety of children and schools.

Learning at Maronka is always full of adventure and hands-on activities. Pupils celebrated World Maths Week in November with games and activities that could be heard throughout the village. Each year, students plant and care for trees as part of EducAid’s science and environmental curriculum. Deforestation is a dangerous threat in Sierra Leone, a lesson students know well from mudslides and forests disappearing around them in rural Port Loko. Students once again planted their seedlings for the year, whilst also designing and building structures to protect last year's seedlings from local goats.

Environmental and agricultural science is an integral part of EducAid’s curriculum at each level in every classroom. At Maronka, the world is the classroom as students learn about the changing seasons (rainy and dry) and recently, about the structure of flowers and pollination. Students are already looking forward to mango season which is just around the corner.

Each EducAid school is working on eco projects to protect the environment and discourage waste in community-specific ways. Students and teachers work together to come up with ideas and to capture data relating to environmental impact. Maronka Primary School is no exception. Maronka has been sharing its efforts with other local schools in an effort to join forces to protect their community by collecting and reducing plastic waste.

Planting a new seedling
Planting a new seedling
Building structures to protect seedlings
Building structures to protect seedlings
Agricultural science lesson
Agricultural science lesson
Learning about pollination
Learning about pollination
Sharing eco projects with local schools
Sharing eco projects with local schools

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Students Arrive at School on 1st July to Prepare
Students Arrive at School on 1st July to Prepare

As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, school is Sierra Leone closed on 31st March. Before returning to their communities, children were equipped with learning materials and strategies and support for staying safe. Students with nowhere else to go stayed at Maronka learning by radio lessons. The children who stayed at Maronka helped EducAid to record radio and distance learning content for national distribution, asking questions and participating to give lessons an interactive and authentic feel.

The Year 6 students, the Eagles, returned to Maronka on 1st July to begin preparations for their National Primary School Exams (NPSE). On 31st July, all of the Eagles sat their first national exam. We interviewed their proud teacher, JP.

 

JP says, "I am delighted to answer those questions as I was directly in charge of them. In the aspect of the preparation, before the pandemic outbreak, they were excessively doing unit work, taking NPSE exams style twice per month. It pains me so much that I did not work with them during the outbreak of the pandemic as many went home and all schools were closed."

 

How did the Eagles prepare for their exams?

They were working on the units in line with the syllabus, also taking NPSE practice exams twice a month which was very helpful. On their return from home, they were engaged in NPSE past questions practices because they were having a month to their exams. 

I also taught them the dos and don'ts during the period of the exams.

 

 Were the students nervous on the day of the exam?

I am proud to inform you that my pupils were calm and were so happy to write to their exams. The issue of panic was not in their system, because they have done a series of exams practices before writing to the NPSE. 

 

What advice did you give the students?

1. One of the advice I gave them was no one should walk up to them asking for money in exchange for assistance during the exams, and to report anything like that to me and I will pursue the matter.

2. Another was to consider exam timing and make sure they don't spend too long in answering a question.

3. They were also advised of not leaving a required question unshaded.

4. Also, they were told not to communicate with each other during the exams, as they will be asked out of the examination hall. 

 

Do you think they did well?

From their facial expression after the exams, it gives me glad tidings and hopes for the future (when their result comes out). They were all happy and saying all that I taught them and what they've worked on was seen during the exams. 

 

Are you proud of them?

Oh Yes!!!!! I am very proud of them. The reason is that I know they will not let me down and they all were very happy during their exams and after taking their exams.

 

Update: We are thrilled to say that 99% of the Eagles passed their NPSE examination

Eagles Studying for NPSE Exams
Eagles Studying for NPSE Exams
Up early for NPSE Exams
Up early for NPSE Exams
Maronka Girls Ready for Their Exams
Maronka Girls Ready for Their Exams
Maronka Boys Ready for Their Exams
Maronka Boys Ready for Their Exams
Distance Learning at Maronka
Distance Learning at Maronka
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Maronka Teachers Training
Maronka Teachers Training

Thank you for supporting our project. It means so much to all of us here at EducAid, but more importantly, it means the world to the 50 children who will continue their education at EducAid's Maronka Primary School. This would not be possible without you!

As I write this report, it is relatively quiet within our Maronka Primary School with many children still away for the summer holidays. The staff are working tirelessly behind the scenes these weeks preparing the children’s return. Teachers are enjoying a week of intensive training.

New learning materials have been created for all academic subjects to make sure the content is current and responsive to student needs. New equality materials have also been created with presentations and key speakers lined up for the year ahead. 

We are excited to be formally introducing sports into the Maronka curriculum this year, as this has proven effects on children’s academic performance as well as their physical and emotional wellbeing. We believe this is an important addition to the children’s lives and are keen to watch this develop in the year ahead.

We have also held meetings with the local community to discuss plans for the year ahead to ensure not only transparency, but also commitment from all stakeholders in the children’s education. We believe this shared ownership is essential for the success of the children and school. The Maronka school has strong ties with the community.

School opens on Monday, 9th September. We are looking forward to welcoming back those students who have been away for the summer and to continue caring for those children that call Maronka Primary School their home. EducAid’s staff, students and community are excited for the year ahead with plans to accomplish great things. We are excited for the next update which will contain information on how the students have settled back into school and what they’ve been up to over the first term. We look forward to highlighting their adventures and achievements.

Once again, our thanks to you as you made this possible for these children!

Teacher Training
Teacher Training
Teacher Training
Teacher Training
Maronka Teachers
Maronka Teachers
Quiet at Maronka
Quiet at Maronka
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Organization Information

EducAid Sierra Leone

Location: London - United Kingdom
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @EducAidSL_LDN
Project Leader:
Farah Lungay
London, United Kingdom
$7,469 raised of $10,000 goal
 
113 donations
$2,531 to go
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