UNICEF and the Government of New Zealand, handed over more than 4,000 infrared thermometers to the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development (MEHRD) in Solomon Islands. Funded through a Global Partnership for Education (GPE) grant, the thermometers will support the safe re-opening of all schools in the country.

“MEHRD is very pleased to receive these thermometers today. On behalf of our Minister for Education, Hon. Mrs. Lanelle Tanangada, the Senior Management Team, staff of MEHRD, and all our Education Authorities, I would like to sincerely thank UNICEF and MFAT in mobilization and coordinating support through the GPE to make delivery of these thermometers to my Ministry possible,” said MEHRD’s Deputy Secretary – Education, Christopher Sakiri.

“Our secondary schools have started classes as of May 30. Primary classes will begin on the 13 of June and early childhood will begin on July 4. This support is really timely. It will certainly contribute towards enhancing our school’s prevention efforts against COVID-19 as well as in early detection. MEHRD will continue to strive to achieve its overriding NEAP 2022-2026 goals of managing its education system - improving access, with inclusion and quality, with relevance within these challenging times. But this will be done within the lens of safety against the impacts of COVID-19,” he added.

The thermometers will support schools to ensure that children who enter the premises are not suffering from high body temperature and fever, one of the common symptoms of COVID-19. School management teams will record each staff and child’s temperature as they enter the premises to ensure that schools remain safe, protected learning environments for all children.

“UNICEF highly encourages children to get back to face-to-face learning, while also continuously working with the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development to strengthen efforts to ensure the highest level of safety measures in schools,” said UNICEF Pacific’s Chief of Solomon Islands Field Office, Dr. Zelalem Taffesse. “The thermometers we are handing over today will reach every school in the country, even the most remote areas. We look forward to seeing all children back in classrooms and learning safely as soon as possible.”

The thermometers received today by the Ministry will support in accelerating school efforts to ensure to keep COVID-19 at bay, along with other prevention measures including wearing a mask correctly and social distancing amongst children.

“The Government of Aotearoa New Zealand is proud to support the purchase of these infrared thermometers in partnership with the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development, UNICEF, and the Global Partnership for Education,” said New Zealand High Commission’s Second Secretary to Solomon Islands, Olivia Benton-Guy. “We will continue to work alongside the Ministry and other education partners in Solomon Islands to support children to return to school safely and continue their education.”

The thermometers were procured by UNICEF as the grant agent, and the Government of New Zealand as the coordinating agency, with funding support from GPE.

Source: Press Release