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Sat 31 Aug 2019 12:21 AM

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Sharjah inks UNICEF deal to launch new schools initiative

Sharjah has announced the launch the Child-Friendly Schools initiative in collaboration with the United Nations Children's Fund

Sharjah inks UNICEF deal to launch new schools initiative
The first stage of the project will target public and private nurseries as well as private schools in Sharjah. (Photo for illustratives purposes only)

Sharjah has announced the launch the Child-Friendly Schools (CFS) initiative, in collaboration with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).

The project is being rolled out by Sharjah Baby Friendly Office (SBFO), the entity implementing the Sharjah Child-Friendly City project, alongside Sharjah Private Education Authority (SPEA) and Sharjah Education Council (SEC), a statement said.

The purpose of the project is to move schools and education systems in Sharjah progressively towards quality global standards, addressing elements that influence the wellbeing and rights of a child, it added.

It will address four key elements - raising awareness on child rights, supporting children’s participation in school and community initiatives, protecting children from all forms of violence and abuse, and the integration of children with special needs into mainstream education.

The first stage of the project will target public and private nurseries as well as private schools in Sharjah, the statement said.

The announcement was made upon the signing of an agreement between the organising entities and UNICEF.

It underlines a set of objectives for Sharjah to develop an integrated system to instil children’s rights in schools, families, and the community at large, through an annual operations plan.

The organising entities have announced that they are in the process of preparing and finalising the project criteria in cooperation with all partners based on best international practices.

Al Tayyeb Adam, UNICEF representative of the Gulf Area Office, said: “As part of the Sharjah Child-Friendly City project, and a continuation of the successes of previous years, UNICEF has signed the action plan for 2019-2020. It contains an important pillar which is to develop the criteria and guidelines for the child-friendly schools project. I consider it a huge accomplishment for the emirate.”

Dr Hessa Khalfan Al Ghazal, executive director of the Sharjah Baby Friendly Office, added: “Our mission aligns with the vision and directives of the Ruler of Sharjah to unify efforts to invest in children, safeguard their rights and maintain their safety and well-being.

“The project build upon Sharjah’s remarkable international achievements, after being named the world’s first ‘Baby-Friendly City’ by UNICEF and World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2015, and a ‘Child-Friendly City’ by UNICEF last year.”

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