UNICEF and USAID continue to support METVT's fight against COVID-19
From left to right: Acting Chief Education Officer Joy Adamson, Minister of Education, Technological and Vocational Training Santia Bradshaw, Representative of UNICEF for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean Dr Aloys Kamuragiye and Regional Representative for USAID / Eastern and Southern Caribbean Clinton White at the launch of the 'We're Stronger Together' jingle video
UNICEF and USAID have pledged their continued support to the Ministry of Education, Technological and Vocational Training (METVT), and Barbados by extension, in its efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19.
Dr Aloys Kamuragiye, representative for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean from UNICEF and regional representative for USAID Eastern and Southern Caribbean, Clinton White both reiterated the commitment of these international organizations as they partnered with the Ministry of Education on yet another project.
At the press launch of a COVID-19 jingle video on Friday, October 30, Dr Kamuragiye stated: “UNICEF continues to support the Ministry of Education to ensure that schools are a safe place for students, teachers and other educational stakeholders to learn and to teach.”
UNICEF, with funding from USAID, has provided posters and other signage for schools, as well as provided technical support in the form of a logistic officer to visit schools across the island to ensure the signage was placed strategically across schools.
They also provided hygiene kits for vulnerable students and designed user-friendly versions of school protocols for various audiences.
In his comments on behalf of USAID, White said: “USAID is proud to provide active support to countries such as Barbados but also with the Ministry of Education. More recently, USAID assisted with the procurement of testing reagents for COVID which made Barbados one of the few countries in the Eastern Caribbean with advanced COVID testing facilities. Today’s activities’ yet another demonstration of USAID’s support for Barbados and the wider Caribbean, with our partner UNICEF and the Ministry of Education. Recognising that children are the best change agents, we are pleased to be associated with this video.”
In her remarks, Minister Santia Bradshaw lauded both organisations for their continued assistance.
“The partnership between UNICEF, USAID, and METVT symbolizes our collective commitment to ensuring that students not only return to the classroom but that they do so safely,” she said.
In addition to partnering with the Ministry on the COVID-19 sensitization project for students, the Minister revealed that UNICEF also assisted with the School’s Positive Behaviour Management Programme, which included an anti-violence campaign at both the primary and secondary schools, even before COVID-19. UNICEF also provided over $500,000 towards the installation of water tanks at several schools across the island.
Recently, both organizations, UNICEF and USAID, generously donated several devices to students as part of the Ministry’s G-Suite Tech Drive for Education Project.
At the launch of the jingle video, UNICEF’s Kamuragiye encouraged students to be agents of change and use social media to share it with their peers while USAID’s White commended Minister Bradshaw on her leadership and the example her ministry continues to set for others across the world in its response to COVID-19.
The development of the jingle video is the latest collaborative initiative of the METVT, UNICEF, and USAID.
It features Peter Ram, Faith, and Mole as well as students from the St Ambrose Primary School and the St George Secondary School, who all reinforce the internationally recognized health and safety practices established for schools. The song and video are specifically intended to target the nursery, primary and secondary school student population throughout Barbados.