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Liberia’s Children Go Back To School But Ebola Is Not Over Yet

Time – Aryn Baker

“All across Liberia, streets are filled with the excited laughter of children returning to school after a six-month hiatus. The children, decked in the smart cotton uniforms of both public and private schools, line up in front of their classrooms to wash their hands in chlorine solution and wait to get their temperatures read by teachers wielding infrared thermometer guns. Once inside they will pick up lessons abandoned in August, when an Ebola epidemic cut a swath through the country, infecting nearly 9,000 and killing at least 3,826. “The Ebola outbreak has had a devastating effect on our health and education systems and our way of life in Liberia,” Liberia’s Minister of Education Etmonia D. Tarpeh said in a statement. “We have managed to beat back the spread of the virus through collective efforts. Reopening and getting our children back to school is an important aspect of ensuring children’s education is not further interrupted.” Ebola taught the nation to fear contact, to avoid unnecessary gatherings and to distrust a government and an international community that seemed both unwilling and unable to bring the crisis to an end. But with the start of school — deemed safe by the ministry of education, even though the virus has not been completely eradicated from the country — Liberians are regaining a sense of normalcy and can allow themselves to hope for a time when Ebola is little more than a bad memory.”(more)

Nonprofit Helps Children in Ebola-Stricken Countries Continue Education

ABC News – Jonathan Bloom

“Ebola is a deadly disease, but in some African countries it’s having another effect on education. A local nonprofit is battling Ebola’s effect on a generation of kids….San Francisco Dr. Phouc Le expected went to a school in Liberia and was surprised by what he saw. “Nothing in the media, or what I was reading, told me that the school system in Liberia had been shut down since the summer,” Le said. David Risher, president and co-founder of Worldreader, knows all too well that education is the unlikely casualty of Ebola. “No parent wants to send their kid to a school where they could get a disease, and frankly, teachers don’t want to work in that environment either,” Risher said. A former Amazon executive, Risher’s nonprofit Worldreader has been giving schools in Africa the very items he used to sell, e-books and Kindles.”(more)

Liberia: Rescuing Liberia’s Educational System

All Africa – Staff Writer

“Cognizant of the importance education plays in the development and advancement of any nation, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is anxious about the deteriorating trend of Liberia’s educational system, and has consequently challenged stakeholders in the sector for practical strategies to improve the quality of education in Liberia.”(more)

Liberia: Educational System Must Empower Learners

AllAfrica.com – Staff Writer

“President Sirleaf, being amongst Africa’s political leaders that really understand the critical importance of education for the future of these countries and for the hopes of their children, wants a total overhaul for the national educational system, which she often criticized for not targeting development needs of the country.”(more)