Education Breakthrough Conference: resulting impact
Save the Children’s Education Breakthrough objective is ‘All children can read by the time they leave primary school and all children caught up in humanitarian crises have access to quality education.’
70 education experts from Save the Children met in Lao PDR, the week of 26 May 2014, to get to know each other, learn from each other and to deepen their understanding how they can contribute to the Education Breakthrough in the education context in Asia. The main topics on the agenda were strengthening our literacy programming and quality of our education in humanitarian contexts. The MEAL Framework and policy influencing were two other major topics covered.
MEETING OPENING REMARKS
Mr. Lytou Buapao, Vice Minister of Education opened the meeting: “In 2015 99% of the children will go to primary school. However, quality of education and our high dropout rates remain big challenges. We have a diverse ethnic landscape with 49 different ethnic groups. 45% of the population doesn’t speak the national language. Also, a large amount of small disasters like floods keep our kids out of school, sometimes for 3 weeks. Education is essential for our economic development, that’s why we’ll invest 20% of our budget in education.”
Olivier Franchi, Country Director, welcomed the participants: “In Lao, Education for All is already a reality. But assessments show that learning outcomes are low, so we need to improve the quality of education and include Disaster Risk Reduction in our education programmes.“
A REGIONAL PERSPECTIVE
Globally, 57 million children are not in school and poor quality of education prevents 250 million who made it into school from learning the basics. The majority of these children live in poor countries and come from disadvantaged backgrounds: the poor, girls, those in remote areas, children with disabilities and those in conflict-affected countries. Failing to learn the basics increases the risk of drop-out. To address this Global Learning Crisis, Save the Children’s breakthrough goal is that every child should leave primary school reading and all children in emergencies will receive a good quality education. Our Post-2015 goals focus on equity to make sure no one is left behind.
BUILDING AN EDUCATION NETWORK
Tove Wang, CEO of Save the Children Norway and chair of the Education Global Initiative, was impressed by the knowledge shared in the meeting: “I’m inspired by your drive to do more and to strengthen our global education programmes. This is a fantastic opportunity to learn from each other by sharing challenges and solutions, as well as to increase ongoing collaboration amongst you. I hope you all take this new knowledge back to your countries to implement it in your programmes.” The participants came from 16 country offices, 7 members and the Education Global Initiative. The meeting built on the first Asia Regional Education Meeting in Cambodia in 2012.