The recently announced USAID-UNICEF collaboration would assist Lao PDR in recovering from COVID-19 by providing inclusive education, basic learning, and life skills to children.

13 May 2022, Vientiane USAID and UNICEF inaugurated a new cooperation today to offset COVID-19’s impact on the education sector by improving early childhood and primary education.

The event was hosted by Vice Minister of Education and Sports, H.E. Dr. Sisouk Vongvichit, At Nahaidio Primary School in Vientiane, He was accompanied by Dr. Pia Rebello Britto, UNICEF Representative to Lao PDR. Young children in Lao PDR will benefit from USAID funding for UNICEF’s Education Program, which will help them prepare for school, stay in school, and improve their reading and numeracy skills.

The pandemic has hampered education in Laos. It’s more vital than ever to prepare children for primary school with great early learning options. The new relationship between USAID and UNICEF will help guarantee all children continue to learn and offset COVID-19’s impact on education, said H.E. Dr. Sisouk Vongvichit.

Lao PDR is growing schooling. Even before the COVID-19 outbreak, most Southeast Asian children were exiting primary school lacking basic literacy and numeracy abilities. This partnership will assist USAID and UNICEF’s priorities to help the Lao PDR achieve its Education and Sports Sector Development Plan 2021-25 and Sustainable Development Goal 4 on quality education.

The alliance will also help instructors and education staff respond to learning requirements so all children may continue learning in-person and remotely.

Dr. Coleman complimented Laos’ Ministry of Education and Sports and UNICEF for working with USAID to strengthen basic education. “Our new alliance underlines the U.S. commitment to the Lao people, their growth, and their aspirations,” said Dr. Coleman. This initiative will help build an inclusive society and enhance Lao human resources.

The USAID-UNICEF Partnership will enhance access to early childhood education and elementary school for distant children. Parents will be trained to support their children’s development.

Early learning builds a child’s future. Providing great early childhood education and a smooth transition to primary school is an investment in our children’s future, said Dr. Pia Rebello Britto. “USAID’s commitment to the UNICEF Education Programme signals a new era for our strengthened relationship to promote Lao PDR’s education system”.

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