Nigeria: UNICEF, Govt Working Hard On Safe School Reopening - Official

24 September 2020

The United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) says that the organisation and the Federal Government are working hard toward ensuring safe school reopening considering the importance of health to societal development.

Mrs. Azuka Menkiti, Education Specialist, UNICEF, Abuja made this known on Wednesday while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) during a Zonal Stakeholders Dialogue School Re-Opening Readiness in Akwanga, Nasarawa State.

NAN reports that the Zonal Stakeholders Dialogue School Re-Opening Readiness was organized by the Federal Government in collaboration with UNICEF.

Menkiti said that UNICEF has developed a template to ensure safe school resumption while soliciting for traditional rulers and relevant stakeholders' support in ensuring that the environment is safe for students and teachers.

" We have organised a similar meeting on Monday for policymakers made up of state commissioners in order to ensure safe school reopening.

" And today, we are organising this stakeholder dialogue for traditional rulers, SBMC, PTA, NAPPS among others on safe school reopening in order to ensure the safety of our children and teachers.

" UNICEF and Federal Government are committed and working hard in order to ensure safe school reopening, hence the need for this stakeholder dialogue, " she said.

The UNICEF official said that the meeting was aimed at sharing and reviewing school reopening readiness template and to get the views of stakeholders and their support towards school reopening.

" We are here specifically to share and review the draft school reopening readiness template as adapted from the school reopening guidelines.

" To agree on expected roles and responsibilities at all levels of education governance towards a safe return to school.

" To commit to minimum expectations and standards for safe return to school and to agree on best decisions in learning recovery upon school resumption," she said.

Mentiki also advocated for the continued use of face masks, frequent hand washing, hand sanitizers by students, and teachers among other Nigerians as precautionary measures against COVID-19, adding that COVID-19 is real.

She urged stakeholders to continue to educate and sensitize their children and other people on the need to continue adhering to COVID-19 protocols.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the dialogue had in attendance NCDC, SUBEB, School Basec Management Committee (SBMC), National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS), Parents Teachers Association (PTA), traditional rulers among others from the North Central zone.

They all lauded UNICEF and the Federal government on safe school reopening initiative while assuring of their support to ensure the safety of students and teachers.

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