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Port Loko District Commences Back to School Campaign
In spite of the different shades of opinions on the re-opening of schools slated for end of March 2015, the people of Port Loko district have resolved to work along with the guidelines prescribed by Government through the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.
This was confirmed by the Deputy Director of Education in Port Loko, Briama Taimu Koroma in a recent interview with the Sierra Leone News Agency (SLENA). He said the measures and mechanisms put in place before the reopening of schools are to ensure that the pupils are in a real protective environment.
He said the district has a total of 689 schools out of which 15 were being used as Ebola treatment centres, holding centres, security bases and lodgings for burial teams. He said a committee which is headed by his Directorate and comprised of key partners in education has already been set up, while a needs assessment exercise that is jointly organised by the Education Ministry and UNICEF was now out to assess the state of the schools in a bid to identify those that can be classified as priorities. He said the Ministry is also planning to train at least three teachers per school on Ebola virus prevention, Social Mobilisation and Psychosocial Support in the schools.
Briama Taimu Koroma said he has also engaged the District Health Management Team (DHMT) and other Partners that are responsible for the decontaminating and disinfection of schools that were used as Holding Centres, Treatment Centres and Security Bases. The Director said he was much more concerned over the pending BECE which is scheduled for 16th March 2015.This is because three of the usual Examination Centres were being used as either a holding or security bases and are yet to be decontaminated.
As earlier indicated in this report, there is an apparent split on the issue of whether schools should be reopened against March for the authorities to wait until when Ebola is eradicated from the entire country.
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