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Liberia: UNESCO assures support for girls’ education, assistance to disable population

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UNESCO Assistant Director for Education, Stefania Gianini has assured Liberia of the organization’s support in girls’ education and provide assistance for education for the country’s disabled population.

Madam Gianini revealed that Girls Education, as in getting girls back to school in post COVID19 situation, has been at the front brander of UNESCO and Liberia stands to benefit significantly through the Ministries of Gender and Social Protection and Education of Liberia.

She made these remarks when Liberia’s Gender and Social Protection Minister, Williametta Piso Tarr and the Chairperson of the National Commission on Disabilities, Madam Daintowon Pay-Bayee paid a courtesy visit at UNESCO headquarters in Paris, France. The meeting took place on Thursday, July 1, 2021.

A dispatch from Paris, France quotes Madam Gianini as saying that UNESCO has programs to place young girls back in school due to lapses in their academic sojourn as a result of school closures, social and emotional effect, early marriages, and pregnancy that have accompanied the COVID19 Pandemic and affected many students around the world and Liberia is no exception in that direction.

She said remedial action that supports skills development under its Technical and Vocational Program, TVET is also vital for ensuring the creation of life skills and job opportunities under its Global Education Coalition to which Liberia is already a participant.

Speaking earlier, Madam Williametta Piso Tar, extolled UNESCO for the many collaborations that it already has with Liberia and stressed that all needs to be done to keep girls in school, with emphasis on rural areas.

Minister Tarr said the Corona Virus Pandemic has affected many young girls already, but noted that a change of direction to ensuring that girls and women are brought back to the classroom or ensure some form of digital learning that keeps them busy and aware of their surroundings.

She said a program that pushes capacity development of teachers in the sciences, the development of a WASH Program in schools, and the development of a holistic education program will be needed to enhance education for girls and women.

The Chairperson for the Commission on Disabilities, Madam Pay-Bayee said education for people living with some form of disability has been a major challenge and has been compounded by the Corona Virus Pandemic in Liberia.

Madam Pay-Bayee said the Deaf, Physically Challenged and Virtually Impaired have got to struggle year-in and year-out just to acquire some form of education.

She appealed to UNESCO to assist in training teachers in sign-language advancement, hands-on skills in vocational and technical education, and braille education to enable them to assist their disabled colleagues.

UNESCO Head of the Education Section, Madam Justine Sass said they have developed a Girls’ Back To School Campaign in four (4) Thematic areas. Teachers Development, Students Protection, Water and Sanitation, and Health.

She said the campaign is aimed at ensuring that girls and women are taken back to school after the COVID19 and ensure that they stay in school and acquire skills that will develop their potentials.

Madam Sass promised UNESCO Education Section support to Liberia in ensuring that young girls and women are returning back to school through its educational support programs.

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