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US launches programme to improve reading in Laos

The United States has agreed to support Laos with more than US$19.4 million to fund a comprehensive basic education programme to improve reading outcomes.
The US Embassy to Laos formally launched the “Learn to Read” programme with the signing of two memorandums of understanding (MOUs) to begin the five-year project from 2019-2023.

The MOUs were signed between the Lao Ministry of Education and Sports and implementing partners Save the Children International and Room to Read Laos, to mark the start of the implementation of this important new programme, which is funded through the US Agency for International Development (USAID).
USAID is supporting the programme with more than US$18.5 million with the rest of the funding coming from Save the Children International and Room to Read Laos.
US Ambassador to the Lao PDR, Ms Rena Bitter, and Minister of Education and Sports, Mrs Sengdeuane Lachanthaboune witnessed the MOU signing ceremony.
“Today’s launch of Learn to Read marks a new chapter in the partnership between the United States and the Lao PDR on education,” Ambassador Bitter said.
“We are proud to support the Lao government as it works to improve reading outcomes, and we continue to expand our commitment to a strong, prosperous, and independent Laos by directly supporting the educational aspirations of Lao youth.”
The Learn to Read programme complements the efforts of the Lao government to improve reading skills for children from the pre-primary level through second grade, implemented by Save the Children International, Room to Read, and Humanity & Inclusion. 
It focuses on improving classroom instruction by providing teaching and learning materials, enhancing teacher competencies through training and classroom support, and strengthening community engagement in helping children learn to read. 
Together, these activities will help improve the quality of basic education in Laos with a special focus on children who do not speak Lao at home, and children with disabilities.
The programme will be implemented in all pre-primary, first-, and second-grade classrooms at public schools in 16 target districts of the provinces of Xieng Khuang, Vientiane, Champassak, and Attapeu.
Over 65,000 children are expected to benefit from the Learn to Read programme.

The United States also works in partnership with the government and people of Laos to improve education, promote health and nutrition, facilitate trade and investment, and strengthen the rule of law.

By Times Reporters
(Latest Update September 2, 2019)

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