Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


SLeone to reopen schools in March as Ebola retreats

22 January 2015, 19:28

Freetown - Sierra Leone said on Thursday it would reopen schools across the country in March, with the deadly Ebola epidemic slowing throughout west Africa.

Classrooms have been empty since the government announced a state of emergency in July in response to an outbreak which has killed almost 9,000 people in the region, more than 3,000 of them in Sierra Leone.

Also read: Military tactics defeat Ebola

A statement from President Ernest Bai Koroma's office quoted him as saying "a timely reopening" was needed to limit the damage caused by the crisis to children's education.

Government spokesman Abdulai Bayratay told AFP ministers would "shortly announce a specific date after all modalities have been put in place".

"An Ebola task force will be attached to schools to promote best practice for the safety of school children. Teachers will be trained to effectively use (thermometers) to frequently test students," he added.

"Schools that have been used as holding and treatment centres will be washed and chlorinated before they are used."

The decision covers all state and private schools, although further education colleges and universities are to remain shut, Bayratay said.

More than a third of Sierra Leone's population of six million are aged between three and 17, although in reality the secondary school attendance rate is less than 40 percent for both boys and girls.

Neighbouring Guinea and Liberia have already reopened their schools following a significant slowdown in new Ebola cases.

The World Health Organization said in its latest update that 8,626 people had died as of January 18, almost all in west Africa, since the epidemic broke out in December 2013. There were 21,689 confirmed cases.

Liberia, which had a peak over 300 new cases a week in August and September, registered just eight last week, while there were only 20 confirmed cases in Guinea last week against 45 the week before.

The figure for Sierra Leone was 117 last week against 184 the week before, the WHO said, but added that the west of the country remained a problem area with the capital Freetown accounting for 30 of those cases.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...