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GENERAL

UNICEF, Education Ministry working together to reimagine education in Malaysia

23/02/2021 05:23 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 23 -- The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) is working closely with the Ministry of Education Malaysia to reimagine education, especially for the most marginalised children wherever they are.

Representative for UNICEF in Malaysia and Special Representative to Brunei Darussalam, Dr Rashed Mustafa Sarwar said the COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on children’s lives, disrupting familiar patterns and impacting their education and mental health. 

"We need to develop and strengthen digital and remote learning, Internet connectivity, affordable data and devices, and engagement so that children have the skills they need for the future. 

"We acknowledge that these are difficult decisions. UNICEF stands ready to continue to support the government with technical advice and co-create solutions to safeguard the future of every child in Malaysia.

“This is also an opportunity for the education system in Malaysia to build back better,” he said in a statement here today

On the reopening of schools on March 1, Rashed Mustafa said UNICEF welcomed and fully supported the government's decision to reopen schools, as it would allow students to access all sorts of provisions like psychosocial support and nutrition, besides education.

"The school is a microcosm of society, it is a safe space for all children. Schools reopening will allow students to access these services, and to learn, connect and play with their friends again.

"The longer children remain out of school, the greater the learning loss and irreversible harm for them," he added.

He said as a priority, teachers and school personnel should be vaccinated against COVID-19, once frontline health workers and high-risk groups were vaccinated, in order to protect them from the virus, thus allowing them to teach in person, and ultimately keep schools open.

Rashed Mustafa said UNICEF, together with other UN agencies, have also produced a multi-sectoral guide to reopen schools safely and the framework for reopening schools could be accessed at https://www.unicef.org/sites/default/files/2020-06/Framework-for-reopening-schools-2020.pdf.

-- BERNAMA

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