An effort to bring children back to school
Nineteen development partners are providing Covid-19 safety training for teachers of remote schools and are assisting children of families in extreme poverty to get back into education.
Organisers of the "Safe Back to School" campaign yesterday said alongside the awareness campaign, the alliance members are also implementing diverse activities, with special focus on schools in remote areas.
They said this at a press conference at the capital's Jatiya Press Club.
The activities include distributing masks, educational materials, products for hand-washing, and thermal detectors at schools; providing advice on keeping schools clean; advocacy with school management committees and community leaders on school safety; door-to-door campaign; and courtyard meetings with guardians to send children to school.
The joint campaign on children's safety covers more than 10,000 schools, they said.
Brac's senior director KAM Morshed, on behalf of the implementing partners, said the campaign has been designed to disseminate messages to all children and their families through all possible communication channels.
"We are using all available mediums of communication -- mass media, social media and word-of-mouth. These messages are promoting behavioural changes in children to help them adopt Covid-19 precautions of handwashing, mask-wearing and social distancing as habits," said Morshed.
Save the Children in Bangladesh country director Onno van Manen requested mass media to highlight content on the importance of education to encourage children to return to school and in turn help recover from the Covid-19-induced learning loss.
Coordinated initiatives and planning between the government, non-government organisations and mass media are required to bring vulnerable children back to regular schooling, said Golam Kibria, head of education at Educo Bangladesh.
Organisations running the campaign are Brac, Campaign for Popular Education, Dhaka Ahsania Mission, Educo Bangladesh, FIVDB, Friendship, Habitat for Humanity Bangladesh, Handicap International -- Humanity and Inclusion, Jagorani Chakra Foundation, Plan International Bangladesh, Room to Read Bangladesh, Save the Children in Bangladesh, Sightsavers Bangladesh, Sesame Workshop Bangladesh, Stromme Foundation, Teach for Bangladesh, VSO, World Vision Bangladesh, and YPSA.
The government and its stakeholders made children's safety a top priority before reopening educational institutions. To bolster that effort, the organisations launched the campaign on February 10, organisers said.
Stromme Foundation Country Coordinator Mizanur Rahman, World Vision Bangladesh Director (Communications, Advocacy) Tony Michael Gomes, Communications Manager at World Vision Bangladesh Devashish Ranjan Sarker, Save the Children in Bangladesh Senior Manager (Media and Communications) Nusrat Amin and others spoke at the event.