Client name: Australian Government – Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT)

Duration: June 2015 - ongoing

Location: Lao People’s Democratic Republic

The Basic Education Quality and Access in Laos program is working towards improving children’s basic primary education, especially for the poor and marginalised, across 65 educationally disadvantaged districts across the country. 

Situation

Lao People’s Democratic Republic is ethnically, culturally and linguistically diverse with 49 recognised ethnic groups and more than 200 sub-groups. This diversity presents real challenges in delivering social services such as education with many non Lao-Tai (ethnic persons) facing language barriers while living in remote regions.

The goal of the Basic Education Quality and Access in Lao PDR program is to ensure all girls and boys, especially the poor and marginalised, finish their primary education, giving them important literacy and numeracy skills.

Solution

The program forms part of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic and the Australian Government’s 10-year strategy for investing in basic education in Laos. The program aims to achieve three main outcomes:

Participation: disadvantaged children and young people participate on a regular basis in primary education and attend school ready to learn

Resourcing: learning environments in targeted locations are accessible and equitable for all children and are properly resourced

Effective teaching: better teaching with more qualified teachers so that disadvantaged children have improved access to education

Result

By the end of the program we expect to see an increased number of children enrolled in primary school across 65 disadvantaged districts.

To do this Coffey is focusing on five key areas. We are working with other donors and non-government organisations to address education policy, planning and coordination with the Government of Lao PDR and to assist disadvantaged children to overcome barriers to participation in education.

We are also helping teachers with increased pre-service and in-service training, and by providing improved materials to assist Lao language teaching and learning, will the program will also deliver improved school infrastructure with new and renovated classrooms and sanitary facilities.