December 10, 2022


Sierra Leone Entertainment News

COVID-19 dampens this year’s Day of The African Child celebrations

On this day in 1976, over 10 thousand black school-going children in Soweto, South Africa marched more than half a mile long in protesting for the poor quality of their educational system (apartheid education system) and asked for the right to be taught in their own language. During this process, hundreds of students were shot and killed in a 2 weeks long protest, whiles others were badly injured. On that day the ‘Day of the African Child’ was born. 

The Day of the African Child or African Child’s Day is celebrated to honor all those who participated in the 1976 Soweto uprising. It also tries to raise awareness of the necessary need for improvement in the education system for African children. This year’s theme is “Access to a Child-Friendly Justice System in Africa.”

African Child’s Day is celebrated across the continent every year and during this day children are allowed to be leaders in their countries by dressing up as presidents, doctors, police officers, and news anchors. Schools host plays, talent shows, and cultural events exhibitions that are led by children.

However, this year’s African Child’s Day celebration is a bit dampen due to the COVID-19 pandemic across the world. The day is still recognized for its history but the celebration process is a bit different this year. Schools in Sierra Leone have been closed for almost 12 weeks even before the first index case was recorded in the country. Due to this fact, there were no school celebrations or even children playing their usual roles in the running of their countries today.

To reduce the spread of the virus, countries across the world had to close schools in order to minimize face to face contact as much as possible so due to this, an estimated number of 100 million children across the continent were asked to stay home and rely on online forms of learning taking the eduction system digital. In Sierra Leone, the most effective method used during this time was the radio teaching program implemented by the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education (MBSSE).

What will happen this year is that the African Union (AU) will hold a continental Webinar which will aim to examine the elements of a child-friendly justice system, including the application of a child rights-based approach and use the 4 principles of children’s rights as a tool for realizing access to a child-friendly justice system in Africa.

The Webinar also aims at creating a platform for dialogue among children, policymakers, organizations working on children’s rights, and the academics on the major challenges in ensuring equal access to child-friendly justice to all groups of children in Africa.

In commemorating this day every year, Government institutions, Non-Governmental Organisations, Right Groups, and other essential stakeholders in children issues gather to discuss the challenges and opportunities faced by children in Africa.