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LEARN project to improve learning for 35,000 disadvantaged children

Dubai Cares, Plan International Laos and Save the Children Laos have officially launched the Lao Educational Access, Research and Networking (LEARN) project to improve learning for 35,000 disadvantaged children in Laos.

The project national-level launch meeting took place last week and was co-chaired by Minister of Education and Sports Ms Sengdeuane Lachanthaboun and CEO of Dubai Cares Mr Tariq Al Gurg.

With generous funding and support from Dubai Cares, LEARN project, implemented by Plan International and Save the Children, aims to innovate educational programmes in the Oudomxay and Luang Prabang provinces.

Over the past years, Plan International Laos and Save the Children International Laos have piloted three programme models that provide a pathway to quality education for children in disadvantaged communities.

This includes an accelerated pre-primary course delivered for 10 weeks during the summer months, a four-week Lao language short course at the start of grade 1, and activities to improve teaching and learning of Lao language in grades 1 and 2.

Through these programme models, the LEARN project builds children's school readiness, creates primary school learning environments that are child-friendly and interactive, and gathers evidence to demonstrate which approaches work, according to press release from Plan International Laos.

Speaking about this new programme in Laos, Mr Al Gurg said “Over the past years, the government of Laos has made significant strides in terms of primary school enrolment. However, drop-out rates remain high, particularly in remote and rural areas. Through this new intervention, Dubai Cares aims to support the country's Ministry of Education and Sports in achieving its 2016-2020 policy objective related to increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of the education system, by reducing dropout and repetition and improving learning in the early primary school grades”.

The LEARN project focuses on providing quality teacher training, equipping schools with learning resources, engaging parents in their children's learning, and building water, sanitation and hygiene infrastructure.

The project has a strong emphasis on promoting gender equality and reaching children who do not speak Lao as a first language. The goal is to help educationally disadvantaged girls and boys successfully transition into primary school and ensure they stay enrolled and can learn to the best of their abilities in the early grades.

As an action research project, LEARN aims to use research and evidence to inform educational policy and resource allocation more broadly throughout Laos.

“By building research-based evidence on what types of education interventions work and why, the LEARN project proudly supports the government of Laos as it implements its Education Sector Development Plan for children across the country,” said Jodie Fonseca, Plan International Project Director of LEARN.

In the week leading up to the launch event, Mr Al Gurg visited primary school students in Oudomxay province where project activities were piloted in 2016.



By Times Reporters
(Latest Update
March 06,

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