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Meet Sierra Leone’s Essential Workers: The University Student

by Alhassan Lamin
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Life as a 25-year-old university student hasn’t been easy; though there are moments of joy, the stress involved is too much. From the first year of my studies, I’ve had many sleepless nights. I decided to study Pure Science and Physics, specifically because looking at how the world is moving, it’s all based on physics practices and principles.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, things were moving straightforwardly, and our system of lecturing was regular. Lecturers gave us full-time lectures; they had enough time to explain the notes and complete the syllabus. The students had enough time to study and do research. There were not many financial constraints in having lunch, paying fees, and taking care of other financial obligations.

Unlike now, with the COVID-19 crisis, there are lots of financial constraints. As of now, I haven’t paid my fees because there is an increment in fees. The economy is not good. Our classes shut down for more than three months, and when we resumed, there was not enough time to even complete our syllabus. We attended classes for a month, and then we went in for exams. Many students found it challenging to catch up with the course modules because most of them relaxed during the shutdown, thinking it was a regular holiday. Even some of the lecturers weren’t ready to come back, and when we came back, most of them did not show up for class.

At this point, I give thanks to God for reaching this level of my education. Most of my colleagues dropped out due to one or two issues, but I finally completed the course. After graduation, I expect to get a job, or I will try to set up an entrepreneurial business because there are limited jobs in the country.

Credit: OSIWA/Essential Stories

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