Japan gives boost to education in northern Laos
The Japanese government has provided grant assistance for education development in the provinces of Oudomxay, Bokeo, Xieng Khuang and Vientiane.
The US$560,000 initiative, through Japan's Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGPs), will expand and reconstruct school buildings at six primary and secondary schools.
Grant contracts for GGP projects in education were inked between the Ambassador of Japan to Laos, Mr Takeshi Hikihara, and five directors of Education and Sports Offices, representing the respective provinces and districts, with Deputy Minister of Education and Sports Associate Professor Dr Khamphay Sisavanh in attendance. Under the project, construction will start immediately and is scheduled to be completed within six months.
Project activities include school building reconstruction in Namor district, Oudomxay province costing US$145,900, another in Kham district, Xieng Khuang province costing US$67,000 and in Pha-oudom district, Bokeo province costing US$73,200.
Schools at these sites are run down so the projects aim to improve the educational environment by building blocks of four to six fully furnished classrooms.
Some US$81,600 has also been allocated to build a school in Nonghet district, Xieng Khuang province. The school has been using a temporary building as a classroom but because of the weather it was often impossible to hold lessons. The school also currently uses a dormitory as a classroom and more than 80 students are lodging in village residents' homes. The project aims to build a block of six fully furnished classrooms.
The other two projects worth US$109,000 and US$82,900 will upgrade buildings at primary and secondary schools in Maed district, Vientiane province.
The number of students at these schools is expected to rise so the project will alleviate overcrowding by building one to two additional blocks of four to five fully furnished classrooms.
Through these six projects, some 2,500 students will benefit from an improved educational environment.
Ambassador Hikihara said it was critically important that the benefits of the projects should be enjoyed by people in local communities as this was the most significant characteristic of GGPs.
Japan attaches great importance to basic education as a foundation for development. Through the GGP scheme, Japan has funded 288 education projects since 1989, including the repair and construction of primary, and lower and upper secondary schools, the ambassador said.
By Times Reporters
(Latest Update March 13, 2017)