The DVV International Regional Office in Laos works in close cooperation with the Department of Non-formal Education (DNFE) of the Lao Ministry for Education. In order to support the daily work of the department, DVV International provided them with a motorbike and other materials. The motorbike will be used for monitoring visits to remote Laotian villages.
The handover ceremony took place on Wednesday, 18 January, on the premises of the regional office of DVV International. It was attended by Vice-Minister Lytou Bouapao, German Ambassador Mr. Michael Grau, Director General of the Department for Non-Formal Education Dr. Ka Saleumsouk, and the Head of the DVV International Regional Office, Mr. Uwe Gartenschlaeger. Along with the motorbike, 2,500 calendars and 5,000 diaries – which provide information on non-formal education in Laos, in the region and worldwide – were presented to the DNFE. This year, a specific focus was given to Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4) on Education.
After the ceremony, a sharing and learning workshop took place with colleagues from the DNFE and other experts in non-formal education from Laos. The event provided the opportunity for informal exchange about recent developments in Lifelong Learning in Laos and the region. The focus of the event was on Multilingual Education (MLE), a topic of utmost importance for a country with a diverse population such as Laos. Ms. Kyungah Bang, from the UNESCO Regional Office Bangkok, bestowed some insights about the “Outcomes of the 5th International Conference on Language and Education: Sustainable Development through Multilingual Education”. She presented evidence showing that mother-tongue-based education provides better learning outcomes for ethnic minority children and adults.
The lively discussion which took place demonstrated the need for various ministries and stakeholders to look deeper into this issue, since Laos is a country with a huge variety of distinct languages. Currently, formal and even non-formal education services are provided only in the lingua franca of the country, Laotian.
DVV International has been supporting non-formal education in Laos since 2009. More information on the work in Laos can be found at the regional website: http://www.dvv-international.la