Hand-over ceremony of textbooks for primary school grades 3, 4 and 5
co-funded by UNICEF, Australia and European Union
Thursday 24 March 2016
Remarks by John Williams, Ambassador of Australia to the Lao PDR
H.E. Lytou Buapou, Vice Minister for Education and Sports
Ms Hongwei Gao, Representative, UNICEF
Mr Brian Fornari, A/g Charge d’affaires a.i., European Union
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen.
I am delighted to be able to join you all this afternoon to celebrate the delivery and distribution of over three quarters of a million textbooks for primary school students across the Lao PDR.
We know good text books are a vital tool to promote learning, and to encourage the active participation of students. Students and teachers struggle without them.
The production and delivery of text books for school children is one important part of the EU and Australia’s invaluable partnership with UNICEF to strengthen basic education here in the Lao PDR.
Australia’s basic education program, BEQUAL, in partnership with the EU, will over the next six years support the Lao Ministry of Education and Sport to revise the primary school curriculum - including text books and teacher guides.
This will help ensure school text books are a quality resource to help maximise learning opportunities in classrooms across the Lao PDR, from Phongsaly to Champassack, and from Bokeo to Attapeu.
BEQUAL will also, over the next 12 months, support the Ministry to develop, pilot and distribute grade one text books to every school in the Lao PDR.
Thanks again for the chance to join you here today. And thanks to the Ministry of Education and Sports, UNICEF and the EU, our partners in BEQUAL, for our ongoing collaboration to support future generations of Lao leaders.