Every afternoon, for 30 minutes, Alzira and Amilcar place their notebooks on the small wooden table in their living room and turn on their television to accompany the lessons transmitted by the national TV station TVM, every day from 3 pm. They both recognize that it is not the same as being in a classroom with their classmates, and despite the short time they manage to remember some subjects and do their exercises.
Alzira studies at Escola Secundária Eduardo Mondlane at 12th grade and dreams of becoming a Civil Engineer. Her school closed 6 months ago when the Government of Mozambique declared the State of Emergency due to the coronavirus.
"I try to maintain a routine while at home, I wake up and do my house chores, then I study with the Telescola. Without the Telescola, it would be difficult to understand the subjects and solve the exercises, the teachers who participate in the Telescola clarify many of my questions, and I manage to make the homework they give at school and understand the subject better," said Alzira.
"At school, it was easier to get answers to my questions because we had the teacher there, at home, it’s more difficult to study and concentrate. My dream is to be an architect because I like to draw. And I know that I need to go to school in order to achieve my dream in the future, and, with the schools closed, the Telescola is helping me to continue studying at home so that I can continue working towards achieving my dream," said Amilcar.
To support learning continuity of children during the school closure, United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), with funding from the Education Cannot Wait (ECW) program, is supporting Telescola (TV education program) and radio education programs, including translating into local languages and broadcasting on community radios. For instance, TVM broadcasts about 1.5 to 2.5 hours of Telescola per day to support the continuity of learning for primary and secondary school children.
During COVID-19, school closures and restrictions in movements ensued in Mozambique, hindering the learning of millions of children. Up until September 2020, the Government has yet to decide on the re-opening of primary and secondary schools.
56-year-old Constância Guiama, a teacher of the 2nd cycle - one of several teachers who took on the challenge to teach in Telescola - says that "this experience has been an added value both for the teachers who participate in the filming and for those who accompany them from home. I was part of the Telescola program since it originally started back in 2005, so when the schools closed due to coronavirus it only made sense to go back and support the students using the Telescola," said Constância.