Home Health Meet Sierra Leone’s Essential Workers: The School Principal

Meet Sierra Leone’s Essential Workers: The School Principal

by Alhassan Lamin
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On a day like today with schools reopening, we would typically have an assembly, sing hymns, and read Bible passages. This is a church school that can no longer organize morning devotions and these are abnormal times. The pandemic really dampened the spirit of pupils as well as teachers. Students, parents, and teachers were worried about safety at school. At some point, some teachers were reluctant to come to school. The whole system was disrupted and it didn’t help us. It’s really good that schools closed when they did in March because we didn’t know how to handle the situation.

⁠Now, after three months, we have reopened and we are better prepared. We are social distancing in the classrooms because only the exam classes in JSS3 and SSS3 are in attendance. Each student that came in this morning received two masks provided by the school free of charge. It’s now part of the school uniform until further notice. ⁠

When I joined in 2016, the school had already put in place ‘Veronica Buckets’ which are hand sanitizer stations from the time of Ebola. Hand washing has since been a part of our school’s culture. When COVID-19 started, we purchased more buckets and hands-free stations with the foot pedal. Our biggest concern right now is what to do if a student gets sick. We have a small health education department that can handle basic first aid but it’s not a clinic.

Credit: Essential Stories/OSIWA

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