Australia, EU assists Laos to bolster primary education
Australia's Foreign Affairs Department and the European Union have provided more than US$1 million (about 8.6 billion kip) to World Vision Laos to help educationally disadvantaged children complete quality basic education.
Basic Education Quality and Access in Laos (BEQUAL) is a 10 year programme led by the Lao government and Australia, with additional support from the European Union.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed on Monday by a representative of the Education and Sports Department in Khammuan province, Mr Nanthaxay Inthasone, and World Vision Laos' National Director, Mr Christopher Herink, for implementation of the BEQUAL NGO Consortium Project in Khammuan province.
The BEQUAL NGO Consortium (BNC) includes Plan International, Save the Children, World Vision and ChildFund and is responsible for implementing activities that support increased access to and participation in primary school, according to the World Vision Laos office.
World Vision Laos' National Director Mr Christopher Herink said “World Vision Laos' participation in this consortium project is an exciting opportunity for all four organisations to work collaboratively and combine our knowledge and experience to really make an impact on primary educati on participation in Laos.”
The BNC project aims to ensure that all children, especially non Lao speakers, girls and disabled children in 171 disadvantaged schools, enroll in and complete a quality primary education, supported by their parents and communities.
World Vision Laos is implementing activities in Yommalath and Xaybuathong districts in Khammuan province until the end of the project in September 2018.
A total of 54 target schools have been selected, comprising 32 schools in Yommalath district and 22 schools in Xaybuathong district.
Under this project World Vision Laos will support activities to increase the number of primary aged children enrolling in and participating regularly in primary school, including children with disabilities.
World Vision Laos uses a partnership approach, working closely with district education and sports offices and the provincial education and sports service in Khammuan province to plan, implement and monitor project activities.
A number of different activities will be implemented as part of the BNC project. Activities will focus on improving Lao language acquisition and children's reading habits, including training for grade one teachers to better support non-Lao speaking students upon school entry, provision of reading books to schools, and reading promotion activities involving schools and communities.
Increased enrolment and participation in school by all children will be promoted through training for village education development committees and teachers on inclusive education, and activities for students to increase their awareness of key issues affecting participation.
Sanitation and hygiene improvements at primary schools will be addressed through the installation of hand-washing facilities, along with training for teachers and school-level hygiene promotion activities.
On behalf of the BNC, World Vision Laos will be implementing specific activities that aim to increase the participation of children with disabilities in mainstream primary education.
The activities to be implemented include training for teachers on inclusive classroom strategies and community level education to change perceptions of disability and education participation.
These activities will be implemented by World Vision Laos in Xaybuathong district with the potential for other BNC member organisations to begin implementation of these activities in other districts at a later stage in the project.
By Times Reporters
(Latest Update March 02, 2017)