Yesterday, the Ministry of Education, Heritage and Arts met with UNICEF to discuss the support required to ensure that disaster-affected children will now be able to resume studies for the start of the school year.
“We are grateful for the support provided by UNICEF. The opening of our schools in Tropical Cyclone Yasa affected areas is an important step in the recovery process as children rely on their daily routines for a sense of security. Going back to school will help them overcome the emotional trauma and devastation caused by Tropical Cyclone Yasa. We are working with UNICEF and other partners to ensure our schools are ready for Term one of 2021,” said the Minister for Education, Heritage and Arts, Hon. Rosy Akbar.
Education supplies and technical support are being provided by UNICEF to the Ministry as part of the Government of Fiji’s efforts to strengthen the country’s Tropical Cyclone Yasa response, and safe continuation of learning.
The supplies include temporary learning classrooms, school-in-a-boxes that consist of stationery, teacher and classroom materials, student backpacks, as well as early childhood development and recreation kits, and water, sanitation, and hygiene supplies. UNICEF will support the Ministry with additional supplies and assistance as needed. These supplies will be used to ensure that children are equipped with the resources they need to learn and grow. UNICEF will also provide training to teachers on psychosocial support for children.
“We thank the Ministry of Education, Heritage and Arts for their leadership, and our partners including the Australian Government and WFP for quickly delivering our education supplies from Brisbane to Fiji,” said UNICEF Pacific Deputy Representative, Vathinee Jitjaturunt. “We need to continue our collective work to provide children with the opportunity to be able to return to normalcy as soon as possible.”
Many of the children affected by Tropical Cyclone Yasa in Fiji are located in remote communities. UNICEF and the Ministry of Education, Heritage and Arts are working closely together to ensure that these education supplies reach all children affected so that they can resume their studies from the beginning of the 2021 school year.