Dr. Mithong Souvanvixay from the Ministry of Education and Sports, and Ms. Keoamphone Souvannaphoum, Country Director from ChildFund Laos signed on 28th March 2017 a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the implementation of the BEQUAL NGO Consortium Project in Houaphan Province.
Basic Education Quality and Access in Lao PDR (BEQUAL) is a ten-year program led by the Government of Lao PDR and Australia, with additional support from the European Union, to support educationally disadvantaged children to complete quality basic education. As part of the overall BEQUAL program, the BEQUAL NGO Consortium (comprising of Plan International, Save the Children, World Vision and ChildFund Laos) is responsible for implementing activities that support increased access to and participation in primary school. The BEQUAL NGO Consortium project aims to ensure that all children, particularly non-Lao speakers, girls and children with disabilities, in 171 disadvantaged schools, enroll in and complete a quality primary education, supported by their parents and communities.
Under the MoU signed today, ChildFund Laos will start to deliver activities in Huameuang and Xamneua Districts, Houaphan Province. The project is supported by the Australian Government, the European Union and and ChildFund Australia with a budget of USD $ 1,312,505 and will run until the end of the project in September 2018. A total of 57 primary schools have been selected to promote education access and participation in the 2 districts. The project will be carried out in close partnership with schools, the District Education and Sports Bureau (DESB) in each district and the Provincial Education and Sport Service (PESS) in Houaphanh to plan, implement and monitor the different activities.
The main objectives of this project are to address the quality of teaching of early reading and Lao language acquisition in schools, and to enable community engagement in supportive learning environments. As part of the BEQUAL NGO Consortium, ChildFund Laos will implement specific activities to improve Lao language acquisition and children’s reading habits such as training for teachers of Grade 1 to better support non-Lao speaking students upon school entry, provision of reading books to schools, and reading promotion activities with schools and communities.
This project will enable an improvement in quality of the education delivered as well as gradually reduce the education gap between urban and rural areas.
“ChildFund attaches great importance to collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Sports. Synergies with the BEQUAL NGO Consortium also substantially expand the prospects of our increased information sharing and effective engagement for countrywide inclusive and quality education”, said Ms. Keoamphone.