The Minister of Education, Human Resource Planning, Vocational Training and National Excellence, Octavia Alfred, is appealing to educators to not let the efforts of the government and other partners go in vain, in the with their fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
This, as the Ministry of Education received a donation of sanitization and hygienic products from IsraAid for distribution to all primary schools on the island and other learning facilities.
Speaking at a handing over ceremony on November 20, 2020, Alfred urged educators to continue to observe the guidelines set in place by the government and not become complacent because, “all the effort that we have made, the contribution of IsraAid and all our other partners, will become futile.”
She continued, “we have come too far with our management of COVID to become careless now. We have spent too much money on this effort to let down our guards now. We have made the sacrifices and we have done well so far.”
According to Alfred, Dominica is the “admiration” of the world and the government’s collaborative effort has been remarkable.
“So let us hold on even beyond the breaking point. COVID will not win. We cannot allow COVID to win, so let us continue to be conscientious as we embrace all the opportunities that this challenging time presents. We shall conquer, we shall overcome,” Alfred affirmed.
She expressed gratitude to IsraAid for what she said is their untarnished contribution to Dominica, a relationship which started following the passage of Hurricane Maria in 2017.
“Since the outbreak of COVID-19, demands for cleaning supplies has tripled. As such this donation of hygiene products is well received, it is very appropriate and necessary. These donations will be made to all our primary schools, 20 early childhood facilities in the east and three special education centers,” Alfred stated. “On behalf of the Ministry of Education, Human Resource Planning, Vocational Training and National Excellence, I extend sincere appreciation and gratitude to IsraAid. You have always been here for us…and we commend your efforts,” .
Acting Chief Education Officer, Dr. Jeffrey Blaze, praised the work of the Ministry and the government as well as the public in adhering to the COVID-19 protocols.
“I must say that as an education system, we have done well. We have had significant stability in the delivery of education to our students when one compares countries in the region and worldwide. They would have recognized that the Ministry of Education in Dominica has had a consistent, safe, welcoming and comfortable learning environment for students with minimal disruption during the course of the term, and I must say this is not only something that happens by luck.”
IsraAid’s Country Director in Dominica, Dana Yaari, pledged their commitment to continue the long term support to Dominica.
“Today we are launching the Healthy Return to School regional programme funded by the Israeli Emergency funds, the Israeli Agency for International Development and the embassy for Israel in the Dominican Republic,” she stated.
Yaari made known that the items were procured after a long assessment of the needs of the education system done by their programme and operations teams in collaboration with the Ministry of education.
“This is a part of IsraAid’s continued support to the Ministry of Education. One of our great pillars and components of our work here is working closely with the education system and primarily with the Ministry to do anything really that you need and any efforts you see fit and appropriate,” she added .
She continued, “ we are committed to staying at least until 2024 which is a great opportunity for us to continue the relationship into the coming years in order to continue to build and strengthen resilience and do more control work on disaster risk management, reduction and readiness, both physical and mental.”
Among the items donated were, hand soaps, soap dispensers, reusable masks for children and instruction on how to make a Do It Yourself (DYI) mask at home.