UNICEF and Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports: schools to be the last to close

Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports confirmed their common goal with UNICEF to keep schools open during the pandemic and will continue consultations with all stakeholders

UNICEF Montenegro
A girl in the classroom
UNICEF Montenegro / Duško Miljanić / 2020
27 April 2021

PODGORICA, APRIL 27, 2021 – Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports confirmed their common goal with UNICEF to keep schools open during the pandemic and will continue consultations with all stakeholders – health authorities, teachers, parents, students, local authorities, civil and private sector – to ensure better access and quality of education for all children. This was one of the key conclusions of the meeting held between the Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sports prof. Vesna Bratic and UNICEF Montenegro Representative Juan Santander.

Santander emphasized that a recent UNICEF and UNESCO global report with data from 191 countries shows that, so far, no causal link has been observed between school openings and COVID-19 transmission. He also pointed out that closing schools does not solve the problem of the lack of the respect of the #DistanceHandsMask measures around the school buildings, as the same things will continue happening in the local community even when schools are closed. This is an issue that each local community needs to tackle through a continuous awareness raising campaign that will call upon everyone to respect the measures so that children can go to schools and adults can go to work safely.

UNICEF is ready to support a study on coronavirus transmission in Montenegrin schools. Data from such a study can help us organize education better and keep schools open until the end of the pandemic. It is crucial that we all join efforts – national and local authorities, civil and private sector – to provide Montenegro’s children with quality, inclusive education during the pandemic.

Juan Santander, UNICEF Montenegro Representative

Bratić and Santander agreed to reach out to the private sector for providing schools and families with proper equipment for online classes, as well as to work together to accelerate digitalization of education in Montenegro.