Guidance Notes for Small Learning Groups
The unprecedented spread of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) across Sierra Leone prompted the nationwide closure of all schools in July 2014 as one of the government strategies to minimize further spread of the virus in the country. Evidence shows that extended school closures inevitably result in learning loss among students among other adverse consequences of children staying out of school. To mitigate such learning loss during school closure, the Sierra Leone Government introduced the Emergency Radio Education Program (EREP) which broadcasts 3 hours of lessons each day for each level of schooling – primary, junior secondary and senior secondary schools. It is clear that the EREP is by no means a substitute to formal schooling.
The LWOL project, in support of government efforts, initiated continued learning activities, such as reading at home and small learning groups, in all 20 project target primary schools in October and November 2014. The move to organize these continued learning activities was enthusiastically embraced by parents who were desperate to see their children continue schooling. In support of these activities, parents provided several spaces within the communities to help organize continued learning activities for their children. The active participation of students, teachers and parents has motivated the LWOL project to continue to support these learning activities until such time as schools will be reopened.