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Laos Sets Ambitious Education Goals for 2020

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Laos has set a goal for everyone aged 15-35 to complete the equivalent of lower secondary schooling by 2020, according to a government minister.

Minister of Education and Sports Ms Sengdeuane Lachanthaboun revealed the ambitious plan on Monday to mark International Literacy Day on September 8.

This follows Laos setting a goal to wipe out illiteracy by 2015 by strengthening and expanding the education system around the country, to assist national development.

Ms Sengdeuane said everyone having at least a lower secondary school education was the most important target for 2020. Meanwhile in 2015- 2016, 18,575 people completed primary school including 10,617 females.

Some 65,618 people completed lower secondary school including 33,960 women, while 2,332 completed upper secondary school.

In 2015-2016, some 6,402 young people were declared literate including 3,864 women aged over 15.

Laos’new focus is upgrading the education system at primary and secondary school level to meet the 2020 target.

Also marking International Literacy Day, Director-General of UNESCO Ms Irina Bokova said in a statement that there had been great progress since the proclamation of the day by UNESCO in 1966.

“The world’s population has increased substantially, but the number of young  adults without literacy skills decreased by 25 percent between 1990 and 2015. There has been movement in enhancing women’s opportunities to acquire literacy – 43 countries have shown major improvements in gender parity. The global Education for All movement spearheaded much positive change.

“But not enough. There remain today 758 million adults who cannot read or write a simple sentence. Two thirds of them are women. On the sidelines of the global village, they receive none of the benefits of globalisation and suffer all its costs.

“These women and men are more vulnerable to ill heath, exploitation and human rights abuse. They are more likely to be unemployed and paid less. Unable to read or write they are held back from their full potential and whole communities are locked into vicious cycles of poverty that lay the conditions for violence and strife.

“Illiteracy remains synonymous with exclusion and poverty and we must turn this around. This is the promise of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, setting forth a new global vision of prosperity, sustainability and peace in the 17 Sustainable Development Goals including a specific goal to ‘ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all’. Literacy is essential to success across the board. A foundation for human rights and dignity, literacy is vital for poverty eradication, for gender equality, for more inclusive and sustainable societies. This is why we launch today the Global Alliance for Literacy, to mobilise investment and promote innovative initiatives, with a focus on gender and new information and communication technologies,” her message read.

 

Source: Vientiane Times