UNICEF supports education, clean water programmes
UNICEF has provided more than 36 billion kip (US$4.4 million) to fund education and clean water programmes in some 100 targeted schools across the country.
The money will be used to finance early childhood education, primary education as well as water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) programmes in primary schools in the provinces of Phongsaly, Savannakhet, and Saravan from 2017-2018.
A signing ceremony for the agreement on the education and WASH programmes took place yesterday at the Ministry of Education and Sports. Minister of Education and Sports Ms Sengdeuane Lachanthaboun and UNICEF Representative to Laos Ms Hongwei Gao signed the document.
More than 5.9 billion kip (US$722,500) will be used to fund the early childhood education programme in 2017, while another over 1.2 billion kip (US$152,500) will be allocated to the 2018 programme.
More than 9.4 billion kip (US$1,148,400) will finance UNICEF's primary education programme in 2017 while more than 7.8 billion kip (US$953,000) will be set aside for 2018.
UNICEF has also supported the implementation of a WASH programme from 2017-2018 in more than 100 primary schools across selected provinces that will cost over 11.7 billion kip (US$1,426,973).
Speaking at the ceremony, Ms Sengdeuane said the signing of the multi-year work plan is a timely response to the challenges of the sector where children, especially the most disadvantaged and those in hard-to-reach areas, need to have access to quality early childhood education, basic educational services, basic water, sanitation and hygiene in both pre and primary education.
“This support significantly contributes to the Education and Sports Development Sector Plan for 2016-2020 as well as the national human resources development strategy,” she told those in attendance at the ceremony.
The cooperation between UNICEF and the Ministry will ensure that children, especially the most disadvantaged and rural, will have access to quality early childhood education and basic education services, and complete the basic education cycle with improved learning outcomes, UNICEF reiterated in a press release.
It will also ensure access to basic water, sanitation and hygiene services for pre and primary school children including the practising of hygiene behaviours daily.
The cooperation will cover several components including supporting the development and implementation of national education policies, plans and standards for enhancing enabling environments of the education sector, including national pre-school and primary curricula.
It also supports the expanding equitable access to quality early childhood an d primary education services focusing not only on improving students' learning outcomes but also supporting the implementation of a quality education package that includes teacher and pedagogical support as well as teacher-learning materials.
By Viengdavanh Banhphahaksa
(Latest Update March 29, 2017)