Borlikhamxay Educators Trained for Literacy Boost
Caption: Mr. Bountem is presenting results of a focus group discussion during the 5-day training of trainers on literacy boost in Paksan, Borlikhamxay
Borlikhamxay Province – Oct. 16th
During October 12th to 16th, educators from Borlikhamxay Province held a five-day training of trainers (ToT) on enhancing teachers’ theoretical and practical capacities to help students improve their Lao reading skills in early primary school grades.
The training was held at Paksan district, Borlikhamxay province and attended by 19 participants from the Provincial Education and Sports Service (PESS) and District Education and Sports Bureau (DESB) staff and pedagogical advisors.
With technical and financial supports from Save the Children in Laos, this ToT aims at equipping education officials with tools, resources, and knowledge to build the capacity of primary school teachers on how to help students become better in reading and comprehension.
The national net enrolment rate of 97% shows that most children are in school. However, more needs to be done to improve not just access to education but also the quality of education. For example, a reading assessment conducted by the PESS and Save the Children in Laos with 641 Grade-3 students in Viengthong district, Borlikhamxay province showed that only about 16% of all 641 students could read the given grade-level texts while only about 60%) of those who could read were able to understand the texts.
Hence, the Borlikhaxay PESS is entering a partnership with Save the Children in Laos to pilot a Literacy Boost project in Viengthong District in order to ensure all children of all ethnic groups in schools can read based on their educational level.
“The Provincial Education sector aspires to ensure that primary school students are able to acquire good reading and writing skills, particularly those ethnic children who do not speak Lao within their families,” stated Mr. Bountem Xongvilay, Head of Pre-primary and Primary Education Division at Borlikhaxay Provincial Education and Sports Service.
Reading is vital to children’s future because, without an ability to read and comprehend texts, children are unable to engage in other subjects. “In every formal education system in the world, the primary grades are the grades in which children learn to read and write. The grades beyond that require them to use reading and writing as skills to study other subjects,” explained Mr. Colin Alfred, a co-Trainer and Education Advisor from Save the Children USA for Asia Region.
Reading, in fact, is the precondition right that all children should enjoy. “Being able to read enables children to enjoy books and to operate and exercise other rights,” said Tim Murray, the co-Trainer and a Senior Education Advisor at Save the Children in Thailand.
This ToT to help early graders read is the first activity to prepare local education officials and pedagogical advisors to implement the Literacy Boost pilot project in Borlikhamxay, with financial support from Save the Children Korea.
Save the Children in Laos works with the Ministry of Education and Sports and Provincial Education and Sports Services to improve access and quality of education for all children from pre-primary to lower secondary levels.