Coronavirus is not school and education-friendly

Gasana Augustine helps his daughter Dianne, 5, wash her hands with soap.

These days, COVID-19 is on everyone’s lips. This disease first appeared in March, and it has caused a lot of damage especially among children.

They are the most vulnerable group when it comes to this disease. They do not know the measures to take to protect themselves against it. However, this pandemic is real, and it is threatening us all. No vaccine has been distributed yet to protect the world against it. The only thing that works is for all of us to adhere to the advice of the medics, so we can all be saved from it.

Medical personnel are always telling us to wash our hands with water and soap or use sanitising gel, to sneeze and cough in the fold of our elbows or to use a disposable tissue and avoid touching our faces with our hands. We are also to keep our distance from people with running noses, and those who have a high temperature, a cough or sore throat.

Dampener on education

The corona virus stopped millions of children from going to school. It has even pushed some parents in some parts of the world into marrying off their children forcibly, before the children became mature. School has lost its appeal for some children because they have been away for so long. The long period without classes have caused some children to forget what they had learnt, abandon school altogether and to occupy themselves with other things. Corona virus is really wiping away all interest in school

Alternatives are not working well:

In response to school closures, the authorities decided to assist us by broadcasting lessons over the national media stations. But to be honest, l could not adapt to this new way of learning, because the broadcasts had a different format from what l was used to. The teachers on the television spoke too quickly and we did not get the opportunity to ask them any questions when we did not understand all they were saying. Worse still, we easily got distracted or were called away often to do some household chores.

The effects of the pandemic are many. I, personally, had won the national contest for writing and spelling in the region of Segou. I was slated to represent my region at the nationals in Bamako and l had spent lots of time preparing for the competition. In the end, l could not travel because of the corona virus restrictions.

That is why l am calling out to everyone to strictly adhere to the preventive measures in order to curtail the spread of the virus. I am asking the authorities to do everything in their power to put an end to corona virus.

Fatoumata Sissoko is a 16-year old journalist from Ségou, in Mali.

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