It is critical for children to return to school in Liberia says UNICEF

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Paynesville, Liberia. UNMEER/Martine Perret

It is critical for children in Liberia to go back to school in order to improve their protection, according to the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF).

The Ebola outbreak which has killed almost 9,000 people mainly in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, also led to school closures across the three countries.

UNICEF says that following the reopening of schools in Guinea last month, Liberia is preparing to follow suit.

Stephanie Castro reports.

The UN children's agency says the government of Liberia recently announced that it expected academic activities to resume on 16 February.

The agency is supporting the process by assisting the Liberian Ministries of Education and Health in ensuring the best possible conditions for the return of children to school.

UNICEF Spokesperson, Christophe Boulierac says it is important for children to get back into the classroom.

He points out that prior to the Ebola crisis, school attendance in primary education in Libera was already very low at 34 per cent.

"The longer a child stays out of school the less likely he or she is to return. Without access to education children are less resilient and more vulnerable to the various protection risks common in times of crisis and children who are out of schools are more likely to be involved in the worst forms of child labour." (23")

UNICEF and its partners have developed safety protocols for schools which include hand washing, measuring temperatures of children, teachers and employees as well as ensuring that schools have enough water.

Stephanie Castro United Nations

Duration: 1’13″

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