Vientiane, 12 December 2018 – The European Union Delegation to Laos together with the Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES) and UNICEF organized today a Meeting of the Budget Steering Committee of the Basic Education Support Programme and launched the Basic Education Support Programme and the Partnership to Strengthen the Education System in Lao PDR.
The purpose of the meeting, chaired by Mrs Sengdeuane Lachanthaboun, Minister of Education and Sports and Mr Leo Faber, EU Ambassador to the Lao PDR was to review the implementation progress of the new EU education budget support programme and to discuss general conditions, indicators and targets after payment of the first tranche of 7 Million EUR by the EU to the Government of Lao PDR last October.
“The Ministry of Education and Sports is committed to reduce rural and urban education disparities by strengthening education sector management utilizing resources effectively and efficiently, for which the Monitoring and Evaluation system at central and local levels needs to be strengthen,” said Mrs Lachanthaboun.
“The European Union is proud to support the Lao Government in its journey to reform the education sector and help to enhance efforts towards implementing the Education and Sports Sector Development Plan,” Mr Faber mentioned, and added: “We believe that the Budget Support modality is a good mechanism to support the education sector in the short and long term. Education budget needs to be prioritized for the most disadvantaged districts and the EU budget support indicators will help to strengthen the partnership focusing on low performing districts, for example by prioritizing new teacher quota for rural schools.”
The Basic Education Support Programme aims to support basic education in Lao PDR and it is aligned to the Lao Government's Education Sector Development Plan (ESDP) 2016-2020 and the Sustainable Development Goal 4. It aims to ensure access to quality basic education, while helping children in Lao PDR to acquire the knowledge and skills they need to fully engage in the social and economic development of their country.
The programme, which has a focus on disadvantaged areas, will be implemented in rural districts and remote schools of the country by providing technical support at national and sub-national levels through the Budget Support to the Ministry of Education and Sports, and the Complementary Measure.
UNICEF is the partner of choice to implement the Complementary Measure called “Partnership to Strengthen the Education System (PSES), which has been designed as a catalytic fund to contribute to the effective and efficient implementation of the Education and Sports Sector Development Plan (ESDP) of the MoES. In harmony with the EU Budget Support, this programme focuses on basic education, education sector governance and planning and budgeting and will be implemented with UNICEF support.
“The PSES puts emphasis on system strengthening of the Government, particularly through capacity building at provincial and district levels. Our main goal is to build their skills in order for them to effectively implement the ESDP and, thus, make a lasting difference in children’s lives. By improving governance of the education system, promoting equitable access to and completion of basic education, and improving education quality, we want to ensure that every child in Laos learns and develop to his or her full potential, contributing to the development of the country,” said Octavian Bivol, UNICEF Representative.
This programme is the result of common values shared between the EU and UNICEF as stipulated in the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the EU Delegation and UNICEF in Lao PDR. Through the partnership support to MoES, the EU and UNICEF promote institutional, organizational and individual capacity development in a holistic manner, both at national and sub-national level, to ensure sustainability and national ownership.
The amount allocated for the budget support component is EUR 55 million, and for complementary support is EUR 7.31 million.
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