UNICEF reconfirms its support to the Government of South Sudan as schools prepare to reopen
JUBA, SOUTH SUDAN 28 SEPTEMBER 2020- UNICEF remains committed to support a safe reopening of schools in South Sudan. The Government has announced 5 October as the day when the first phase of the reopening of schools will commence for Primary 8 and Senior 4. Last week UNICEF and UNESCO welcomed the decision of the Government to reopen the schools in South Sudan.
The estimated number of schools with candidate classes reopening in the first phase, is 1,400, with a total enrolment of at least 110,000 students including 75,000 in Primary 8.
UNICEF has supported the Ministry of General Education and Instruction in developing plans and protocols for the reopening of schools. The priority is ensuring that schools are as safe as possible for students and teachers. Key points in the reopening plan include improved access to water for handwashing and drinking for students and teachers, distribution of soap and masks, teacher training on COVID-19 prevention and community sensitization on COVID-19 related to the reopening of schools.
UNICEF is meeting regularly with the Ministry to discuss the roll-out of the reopening plan and other aspects of UNICEF’s continued strategic support to the Ministry.
“Supporting a safe return to school is a priority for UNICEF”, said Dr Mohamed Ag Ayoya, UNICEF Representative in South Sudan. “Our entire team is mobilized and working with the Ministry of General Education and Instruction as well as all other concerned line Ministries and partners to help making the reopening of school a smooth process.”
To sustain learning for children in non-candidate classes which are planned to resume in February 2021, UNICEF will continue supporting the Ministry of General Education and Instruction in broadcasting radio lessons, in particular for the children in Primary 1 to 7. UNICEF has finalized agreements with community radios to rebroadcast lessons in areas not reached by South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation and Radio Miraya.
This week UNICEF received the first consignment of 5,000 solar powered radios. They will be distributed to vulnerable households to facilitate children’s participation in radio distance learning. Another consignment of 27,000 radios will arrive later this year. The solar powered radios are funded by USAID.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work in South Sudan visit: www.unicef.org/southsudan