H.E. DR. HANG CHUON NARON, Minister of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS), on the recommendation of the School Health Department provided a Letter of Appreciation to the Cambodian team of the regional Fit for School programme in the Morning of 20th October 2021, at the Minister´s Office. This is to express the appreciation of MoEYS for the support of the Fit for School programme with hygiene materials and technical inputs during the period of Covid-19 pandemic. Fit for School is jointly implemented by GIZ, the Southeast-Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) and MoEYS in Cambodia.
Besides technical support such as organizing the WASH in Schools technical working group meetings, supporting the development of standard operating procedures for safe school reopening and of a booklet on “The Safe Operation of Schools in the Context of Covid-19”, the regional Fit for School programme has directly supported the School Health Department (SHD) with materials worth about 7,500 USD in the form of Covid-19 rapid antigen tests, standing temperature scanners, and personal protective equipment such as face shields, hand sanitizer and face masks, to support the roll out of the vaccination campaign among educational staff. The Director of SHD, H.E. Dr. Chhaykim Sotheavy expressed her appreciation of the timely support: “Thank you for your kind support through hygiene materials at the right time to use them to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”
Furthermore, the Fit for School programme has supported all schools with a WASH in Schools Star One rating in its 5 target provinces Stung Treng, Ratanakiri, Mondulkiri, Kampong Cham and Tboung Khmum through Local Subsidy Agreements with each Provincial Office of Education worth total 130,000USD to support schools with insufficient handwashing infrastructure to construct a total of 579 group handwashing facilities in 260 schools, including the provision of necessary hygiene materials such as soap, toothbrushes and toothpastes for 40,556 children for a year. Currently, the programme is procuring additional 3,000 individual handwashing facilities worth 60,000 USD to improve and inspire more handwashing activities against Covid-19 infections in schools and to meet the endorsed SOPs. These programme activities are possible thanks to the support of the German Cooperation, funded by the Federal German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and through support from the Hygiene Behavior Change Coalition, funded by UK-Aid and Unilever in cooperation with various development partners.
As part of this public private partnership, Fit for School has developed practical instructional materials and school management checklists to implement the SOP for safe reopening of schools, which will be tested in 20 model schools in Kampong Cham Province that receive a sufficient number of individual handwashing stations together with hygiene and cleaning supplies for proper implementation.