- Charity grant to promote inclusive education in Lao PDR
- Grant of £37,925 in 2010
- Three-year grant of £156,982 over the period 2008-2010
This major project was managed and coordinated by UNESCO Bangkok office. The majority of activities were implemented in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Lao PDR, with some of the activities being implemented by Save the Children Norway.
Prior to the start of the project, UNESCO Bangkok and the Ministry of Education, Lao PDR, had reviewed the education system and developed strategic plans to address the key remaining challenges. One of the major challenges identified was that available public funding was insufficient to allow the most successful education reform programmes to be scaled up uniformly across the country, resulting in uneven development and whole provinces being excluded from the change process. The involvement of BFSS was therefore intended to address disparities in education and to combat barriers to accessing education as well as barriers to accessing learning while in school.
The project focused particularly on the needs of children excluded or marginalised from education by a variety of factors including poverty, ethnicity, religion, disability, HIV/AIDS, gender or membership of a minority group. Key partners at all levels, including those from the central government but also in provinces, teacher training institutes and schools, were brought together to work towards a sustainable strategy for improving access to schools and quality education for all children, with a specific focus on those learners who face barriers to learning.
The project’s interventions, with the direction of the Lao government, developed the understanding and practice of inclusion by changing policy statements, teaching practices, curriculum approaches, school cultures, assessment methods and community involvement, to make schools and learning environment more accommodating to all learners. These changes are reflected in more children getting into school and staying there to complete primary education. In addition a rights-based approach to education was promoted in order to safeguard not just the right to education but also a learning environment free from human rights violations.
Photographs for the UNESCO project by Ms Rojana Manowalailo.