UNICEF working with Nigeria on safe school reopening: Top Official

*UN agency has developed a template to ensure safe school resumption, solicits support of traditional rulers, relevant stakeholders to ensure safe environment for students and teachers ─Azuka Menkiti, Education Specialist at UNICEF

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

Against the backdrop of the crucial importance health to societal development amid the Coronavirus pandemic, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) says it is working hard with the Federal Government toward ensuring safe school reopening in Nigeria.

Mrs. Azuka Menkiti, Education Specialist at UNICEF, disclosed this Wednesday in Abuja, FCT, while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria a Zonal Stakeholders’ Dialogue School Re-Opening Readiness in Akwanga, Nasarawa State.

The Federal Government organised the Zonal Stakeholders’ Dialogue School Re-Opening Readiness in partnership with UNICEF.

Mrs. Menkiti stated 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.

Report says that the dialogue had in attendance the NCDC, SUBEB, School Basic Management Committee (SBMC), National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS),  Parents Teachers Association (PTA),and traditional rulers  among others from the North Central zone.

The UNICEF Education Specialist said: “We have organised a similar meeting on Monday (September 21) for policy makers made up of state commissioners in order to ensure safe school reopening.

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

“UNICEF and Federal Government are committed and working hard in order to ensuring safe school reopening, hence the need for this stakeholders’ dialogue.”

According to the official, 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.

Menkiti added: “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 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.

She also advocated the continued use of nose masks, frequent hand washing, hand sanitisers by students and teachers among other Nigerians as precautionary measures against COVID-19.

COVID-19 is real, said she.

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

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