For some reason, during the war, anything with equipment of any sort (and the more incomprehensible the more it was the case) became a target for the rebels. Schools were burned down but laboratories seemed to rouse an additional level of frustration and nearly all school labs and equipment were destroyed.
Now, great swathes of the country send students for practical exams in which they encounter equipment, terms and activities that they have never before heard of, never mind practised.
It has taken some amount of time and contributions and donations from multi-various sources but we have made a strong effort to build up our practical resources for the sciences, so that our students access the necessary means that will make their practical exams a meaningful test of their knowledge and skills.
Today, Ishmail Kamara, teacher in charge of Biology, led the exam class in food testing practicals. Just one way, in which we feel we can level the playing field between the rich and privileged students from the top fee paying schools and our youngsters from vulnerable and deprived backgrounds.
The science department has another reason to celebrate: Pat Peyton (retired chemistry teacher) is on her way back for her 4th visit to EducAid and Ken Hall (retired biology teacher) is on his way out for his first trip. Pat and Ken will be spending time building up the skill levels of teachers and students and will focus particularly on practicals. Well taught science is hard to find in Sierra Leone but we are proud of what is being achieved in the science departments in the EducAid schools.
If you are interested in knowing more about EducAid's work with vulnerable Sierra Leoneans, please go to www.educaid.org.uk