Ministry, Room to Read Laos Extend Support for Rural Education

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The Ministry of Education and Sports and Room to Read Laos are teaming up for the fourth phase of the Enhancing the Education of Lao Children project in six provinces.

The project is funded by the Room to Read Global Office at a cost of US$9 million, or over 72 billion kip. The project will be implemented in Vientiane, Oudomxay, Xayaboury, Saravan, Savannakhet, and Champassak provinces from July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2020.

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed in Vientiane on Tuesday between the Director General of the Department of External Relations of the Ministry of Education and Sports, Ms Chanthavone Phandamnong, and Country Director of Room to Read Laos Ms Norkham Souphanouvong.

The main activities of the project are to increase access to relevant, appropriate, and quality reading materials by publishing approximately 32 children’s books, the establishment of reading rooms or libraries in 132 schools, and equipping them with approximately 144,000 age-appropriate reading books.

Training and on-going coaching will be provided to 132 primary school directors and 264 Grade One and Grade Two teachers and 132 librarians on the effective teaching of Lao language, library management and reading activities.

The project will also design and implement supplementary teaching materials to boost non-native Lao speaking students’ Lao language skills to enhance learning outcomes.

Another objective is to create school environments that are conducive to learning. To this end, some 30 school buildings and libraries will be built with community participation.

The project aims to engage families and communities to increase their awareness and support of reading. It will also increase collaboration with the government and other NGOs to support policies and programmes to effectively and sustainably impact students’ independent reading abilities. This includes continuing to pilot Grade One and Grade Two Lao language textbooks and providing inputs to the Ministry of Education and Sports in developing the new textbooks and related materials.

Also planned are ongoing research, monitoring and evaluation activities to ensure programme quality and improvements. Imported donated equipment such as computers, books and other educational materials will be use to support the Literacy Programme once or twice a year based on the donations received.

The project aims to continue to support about 1,695 secondary school girls at existing target schools in Oudomxay, Xayaboury and Saravan provinces until they complete upper secondary education or vocational education equivalent to upper secondary education level.

Some materials will be provided for participating girls who qu alify under the project’s assessment criteria. In addition, the project will continue to support approximately 16 secondary school directors and 80 teachers with life skills and monitoring and mentoring techniques in Oudomxay, Xayaboury and Saravan provinces.

Source: Vientiane Times

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