Amid COVID-19 Lockdown, Sierra Leone Turns to Education by Radio

As various African nations continue to struggle in the battle against the pandemic, an entire generation of schoolchildren are missing out on educational opportunities to attend school. In Sierra Leone, the government is taking a novel approach, connecting teachers and students via a series of radio programming to ensure that education can continue in whatever form is possible.

Education radio is now being used in other engaging ways, not only to support distance learning but to enhance in-classroom teaching and the training of teachers.

Between 2014 to 2016, radio was used widely to foster children’s education at home during the Ebola outbreak. Sierra Leone took a similar approach to respond to the impact of COVID-19 on learning.

It was crucial to make the radio lessons available to young learners. This education by radio program, which last one hour of which 30 minutes are dedicated to teaching, while the other half-hour is for students to call in a toll-free line to engage with the teacher. Lessons are also available on-demand and have been published on the government’s education website. In addition, print materials are being mailed, and supplemental lesson plans are made available through mobile phones and television.