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SB2S raises awareness of behaviour changes in children

  • Published at 09:38 pm October 26th, 2021
SB2S safe back to school press conference
Representatives of the SB2S alliance at a press briefing in Dhaka on Tuesday; October 26, 2021 Courtesy

Joint campaign on children safety by 19 development partners covers more than 10,000 schools

The Safe Back to School (SB2S) alliance has begun a campaign to raise awareness of behavioural changes in children and ensure that Covid-19 health advisories are followed in schools.

In addition to the awareness campaign, SB2S members are carrying out diverse activities at more than 10,000 schools across 56 districts of Bangladesh. They have placed special focus on schools in remote areas, according to a press release.

Activities being implemented by SB2S include Covid-19 safety training for teachers; distribution of masks, hand washing and educational materials; providing thermal detectors to schools; advice on keeping schools clean; assistance to children of families in extreme poverty to help them get back to school; advocacy with school management committees and community leaders on school safety; and door-to-door campaigns and courtyard meetings with guardians to send children to school.

The SB2S alliance was formed on February 10 this year with the aim of safeguarding children and their education from the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The members of the SB2S are Brac, Campaign for Popular Education, Dhaka Ahsania Mission, Educo Bangladesh, FIVDB, Friendship, Habitat for Humanity Bangladesh, Handicap International – Humanity & Inclusion, Jagoroni Chakra Foundation, Plan International Bangladesh, Room to Read Bangladesh, Save the Children in Bangladesh, Sightsavers Bangladesh, Sesame Workshop Bangladesh, Stromme Foundation, Teach for Bangladesh, VSO, World Vision Bangladesh and YPSA.

During a press conference on Tuesday, Brac Senior Director KAM Morshed said the awareness campaign was specifically designed to disseminate messages to all children and their families through all possible communication channels.

Also Read- Safe Back to School campaign pledges full support for reopening

“These messages are promoting behavioural change in children to help them adopt the Covid-19 precautions of handwashing, mask wearing, social distancing as habits,” he said.

World Vision Bangladesh Communications Manager Devashish Ranjan Sarker moderated the event, while Save the Children in Bangladesh senior manager (media and communications) Nusrat Amin delivered a presentation on the content for the awareness campaign.

Country Coordinator of Stromme Foundation Mizanur Rahman said the alliance is working as a catalyst to bridge the gap between the government and marginalized people.

Coordinated initiative and planning between the government, non-government organisations and the mass media is required to get those children back to regular schooling, who are left behind due to family or social situations or financial constraints, said Golam Kibria, head of education at Educo Bangladesh. 

Save the Children in Bangladesh country director Onno Van Manen requested that media highlight the importance of education to encourage children to return to school.

Tony Michael Gomes, director (Communications, Advocacy) at World Vision Bangladesh, said all the alliance members working in the field of education are  making sure that available resource are mobilized to keep schools safe.

Samia Ahmed, senior manager (advocacy and campaign) at Save the Children in Bangladesh, and Rafe Sadnan Adel, head of media and external relations at Brac, were also present at the press briefing.

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