While Sierra Leone schools remain partially closed due to the COVID pandemic, the Child Reintegration Centre education department has been holding test preparation classes for students facing promotional exams. In most of West Africa, students who hope to promote from the Primary, Junior Secondary, and Senior Secondary levels are required to pass difficult examinations on a broad range of subjects. CRC students have been invited to attend classes in small groups, where they are tutored with a focus on mathematics and English. Education Manager Mabel Mustapha organized a system to help the students continue to study and prepare at home.
In early July, the government reopened school for students sitting public exams so they can attend remedial classes. The children will have at least two weeks of test preparation classes before the examinations are held. Children who are not taking public examinations will be assessed by their teachers on the two terms that were conducted before schools closed.
The NPSE exam for promotion from primary school is scheduled for July 31, BECE exam for promotion from Junior Secondary is scheduled for July 15, and the WASSCE exam for graduates of Senior Secondary is scheduled for August 4th.
The Child Reintegration Centre has started distributing solar powered radios to students so they can follow the daily educational radio broadcasts aired by the government during COVID. While in the developed world schools have gone to online instruction, this is not an option in Sierra Leone. UNICEF-supported national radio programming provides daily lessons for children to fill the gap, but the poorest families do not even have the luxury of a radio. The CRC is providing families with solar powered radios, and supplying students who are slated to take the upcoming promotion exams with practice tests to study while school is in recess.
Students promoting to junior secondary school must pass the National Primary School Examination (NPSE), and to promote to senior secondary, students must pass the Basic Education Certificate Exam (BECE). The CRC has been offering extra classes to help students prepare for the difficult tests, so those who attended will be first to receive radios.
The CRC's solar radio distribution project made the Sierra Leone national news, see the clip below.
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