Education in Sierra Leone
My job focuses on sport for education and this means that I spend a lot of time visiting football pitches as well as a lot of time in schools around Sierra Leone. Education is improving in Salone all the time but many schools still have overcrowded classrooms and a lack of qualified staff. It is also clear that for most education is seen as the solution to many of the problems faced in this part of West Africa. Here are some images from school visits with the Craig Bellamy Foundation in Sierra Leone:
Rabiatu sits in class learning about verbs (Makeni, Sierra Leone). Nearly just as many girls as boys start secondary school in Sierra Leone but many drop out before they reach Rabiatu’s age. Staying in school gives young girls many more options though and as Rabiatu said, “with education I can be whoever I want to be.”
Portrait of Rabiatu.
Santos is one of the CBF students I work with at the football academy in Tombo. We recently returned to his old school to visit and he spoke fondly of the time he spent there.
A long day! Many students in Sierra Leone have to wake up early to get to school and many also help their parents with chores and money-making enterprises so school can be a tiring place to be.
Kallon is a keen football player in Freetown but also understands the value of education: “Football is important to me. I love it. Education is more important though as one day I want to be a business man and then I will need my education.”
I believe education is a pathway out of poverty for children and when I see children like Kallon engaged and keen to learn it is a real highlight in my working day.