Education partners review reform in early learning

Plan International and implementing partners, in support of the Ministry of Education and Sports, held a successful two-day (November 12-13) education symposium to share best practices and identify avenues for the future scale and sustainability of key interventions to improve learning outcomes in early grade education.
Over the past three years, Plan International in Laos has been leading two large-scale, consortia-based education projects together with other development partners active in the education sector.
The overarching objective of these projects is to improve educational outcomes and inclusion for disadvantaged children in line with the ministry’s priorities.
The BEQUAL NGO Consortium Project - a partnership between the Ministry of Education and Sports, Plan, ChildFund, Save the Children and World Vision - is a component of the Australia and EU funded Basic Education Quality and Access in Laos (BEQUAL) programme.
The BEQUAL NGO Consortium Project (BNC) is undertaking activities benefitting more than 13,400 children across 170 primary schools in seven districts of Huaphan, Khammuan, Luang Prabang and Oudomxay provinces.
These are aimed at improving early grade reading through school and community based interventions, with the aim of influencing education sector reform at a broader scale based on lessons learned.
The Dubai Cares-funded Lao Educational Access, Research and Networking (LEARN) Project is piloting and rigorously evaluating interventions to improve school readiness and early grade learning outcomes in eight districts of Luang Prabang and Oudomxay provinces to assist policy planning within the sector.
A collaboration between the Ministry of Education and Sports, Plan, Save the Children and American Institutes for Research, the project has an emphasis on flexible, gender-sensitive, accelerated models that enable the government to reach disadvantaged non-Lao speaking children at low cost with high quality.
To date, LEARN has reached nearly 35,000 children in more than 500 schools across eight districts in its pilot phase, with the intention to scale up successful models across Laos in partnership with the government and other development partners.
With both the BNC and LEARN projects soon coming to an end, Plan International worked with Ministry of Education and Sports stakeholders along with LEARN and BNC implementing agencies and other development partners active in the Lao, regional and global education sectors in the symposium to share best practices and identified avenues for future scale and sustainability.
The objectives of the Symposium were:
•  To share evidence-based best practices from the BNC and LEARN Projects.
•  To identify avenues for using the evidence and learning from BNC and LEARN to accelerate Laos’ progress towards its educational goals.
•  To map priorities and next steps in translating lessons learned into sustainable and scalable long-term education investments.
The symposium saw a range of presentations on successful interventions implemented including:
•  An accelerated 10 week summer pre-primary programme targeting communities with pre-primary structures.
•  A package of teacher training and materials for the teaching of oral Lao to ethnic children.
•  Capacity building with Village Education Development Committees to promote full attendance and inclusive education.
•  Parental engagement in reading promotion and community level reading camps.
The symposium concluded with the Ministry of Education and Sports and development partners identifying priorities for policy and practice from these interventions for their wider adoption and sustainability.
Founded in 1937, Plan International is one of the world’s oldest and largest international development agencies, working in partnership with millions of people around the world to end global poverty.

Not for profit, independent and inclusive of all faiths and cultures, Plan International strives for a just world that advances children’s rights and equality for girls.
Girls Get Equal is Plan International’s global movement to transform power relations so that girls everywhere can learn, lead, decide and thrive.
Working in Laos since 2007, Plan implements programmes in Bokeo, Oudomxay and Saravan provinces focusing on improving children’s access to high-quality education, giving children a healthy start in life and improving water and sanitation.
--Source Plan International

(Latest Update November 16, 2018)

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