TV-school in the Saharawi refugee camps – Covid 19

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PUSL.- Following the strict measures that the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) has declared since mid-March, namely the confinement of the inhabitants of the refugee camps, hygiene and disinfection measures and awareness and clarification campaigns, the Ministry of Education has now announced the beginning of a TV-school project for all levels of education taught in the refugee camps.

Although there have been no cases of Covid 19 confirmed in the refugee camps so far, SADR is aware of the existing danger and maintains all protection and prevention measures.

This new measure is only possible due to the existence of RASD TV the state television that despite all the contingencies and difficulties works in the refugee camps with independent production.

Despite not reaching the entire population due to difficulties in accessing electricity in the El Aaiun camp, for example, and because not all families have access to a television, this measure is a way of trying to bridge the closure of schools due to pandemic.

The TV school model, which during the pandemic is already operating in Spain and will start operating on April 20th in Portugal, has been successful and was a way of overcoming low schooling in non-urban environments in the 70s and 80s.

In Australia, distance learning, both radio and television, has been a constant due to the enormous distances and isolation of some communities.

Also in several countries in Latin America and even in the USA, there are different types of experiences in this area.

This form of distance learning is now resumed in various parts of the world, and also in the refugee camps, despite the technical difficulties added in a context of extreme need and logistical impediments.

According to a teacher from the refugee camps in El Aaiun Wilaya, “the TV school is an initiative that can be successful but depends on a total commitment from the family and the students in addition to the availability of means.

There is a problem with adapting teaching materials and means available at home. Parents or other family members must be able to provide assistance and explain the matter when necessary. Parents also have a crucial role in the punctuality of class hours and in creating a home environment that allows for study. Students cannot be surrounded by family members in front of the TV.

After each lesson, the parents will have to supervise the exercises. We have to take into account that in European countries that have implemented this system there is the possibility of monitoring by phone and video conference of students, something that in the camps will not be easy. It is therefore essential not only to ensure classes for students but also to support parents so that they can be prepared for this task.”