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Government promotes ‘Safely Back to School’ campaign
The Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism joined hands with the Ministry of Education and Sports to promote safety for teachers and students going back to school amid the Covid-19 crisis through the Lao media.
 The objective of a media briefing on the theme “safely back to school”, which was held last friday in Vientiane, was to inform the media about the government’s policies for education during the Covid-19 outbreak and the campaign for teachers and students returning to school after classes were suspended to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus.
The campaign includes a briefing on mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) for children, learners, teachers, education staff, parents and caregivers. It also encourages media participation to promote the “Safely Back to School” campaign and ensures access to psychosocial support for the people.
The briefing was chaired by the Deputy Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr Savankhone Razmountry, and the Deputy Minister of Education and Sports, Dr Kongsy Sengmany. It was attended by representatives of various media outlets, including television, radio, print and online media and Mass mefia organisations.
Mr Savankhone told the briefing: “Media plays an important role in providing awareness of Covid-19 as well as updates on the global and local situation, and the government’s instructions Through all media outlets, we also provide information on how people should protect themselves and their families from Covid-19.”
Now as children are going back to school, Mr Savankhone urged the media to continue this work by promoting the “Safely Back to School” campaign.
Dr Kongsy praised the Ministry of information, Culture and Tourism and UNICEF for holding the important meeting to promote the protection of the students’ health as they go back to school amid the Covid-19 crisis and thanked the Lao media for reporting accurate and beneficial information on the outbreak.
The UNICEF Representative, Ms Beate Dastel, said: “It is important to make sure that all children are able to access their education, as well as to encourage children to talk about their feelings and emotions.”
across the country are being cleaned and disinfected regularly and hand washing stations are being installed. During Phase I of the reopening of schools, children from Grades 9, 10 and 12 returned to school on May 18. On June 2, based on the Prime Minister’s Order No 597, the Ministry of Education and Sports and other sectors were authorised to have schools and academic institutions under their supervision reopen the classrooms for childcare and kindergarten, and the remaining primary and secondary education grades.
Final year students of vocational colleges, pedagogy colleges and universities also went back to classes, with the remaining classes set to resume from June 15.
During the school closure, the strong partnership between government and various development partners, including INGOs, which was formed since day one, ensured that no child was deprived of education. The Ministry of Education, with the support of UNICEF and other partners, launched an educational television programme shown on national TV and a dedicated education and sports satellite TV channel.
UNICEF reran episodes of “My Village”, a television show for young Lao children to provide basic knowledge and skills that help the physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development of all children, including girls, boys, ethnic and disabled children.

By Viengdavanh Banphahaksa
(Latest Update June 8, 2020)

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