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Schools Build Network to Promote Children’s Right to Education

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A network was founded this year to strengthen primary schools’ capacity to protect and promote children’s right to education.

Teachers from 13 primary schools met yesterday to discuss the creation of the protective network in Vientiane.

During the meeting, participants reported on their experiences of protecting and promoting children’s rights in their local communities.

The focus of the talks included the issues that many children face in accessing this right. As children are often among the most vulnerable to the forces of society, it is especially important for educators to take responsibility for safeguarding young students’ rights.

Economic and social antagonisms often result in children not realising their right to an education. Many instances of children being forced to work to support poor families or succumbing to drug abuse were raised at the meeting as common examples of the infringement of children’s right to education.

Participants exchanged information, experiences and best practices on the current application of rights-focused activities in Vientiane through after school activities in the 13 target primary schools.

The schools included in the initial founding of the network are in Dongsavath, Nahay, Udomphon, Nongbuathongtai, Danxang, Nongneua, Chommanytai, Xangleua, Sinak, Ilay, Piavath, Nakha and Khosivilay villages.

Deputy Head of the Vientiane Education and Sports Office, Mr. Southany Xayasane, spoke at the meeting about the importance of this network.

I think it’s essential that we as educators forge a network aimed at increasing our understanding of how to protect the right of each child to an education. This initiative must include members of the local community if it is to be successful, he said.

He added that the network’s goal is to escalate the role of each teacher in providing information to the parents of children because indicators have demonstrated the vital role parents play in ensuring their children attend classes and extracurricular activities.

There is a common misconception that these issues only exist in rural areas and that by focusing on improving policy in urban areas, the government can take these lessons and apply them on a country wide level, Mr. Southany said.

Poor and marginalised children in Vientiane face a multitude of problems from a lack of education. While the network’s primary goal is to focus on policies that are oriented towards children already enrolled in school, they hope to expand in the future to help drop-outs re-enter the education system.

Head of the Dongsavath Children and Youth Development Association, Mr. Phonexay Inthaleuxay, said the network will expand to include more members at the local community level, including civil society organisations and other key actors.

The network will continue to provide practical training to its members to strengthen the capacity of educators on children’s rights.

 

Source: Vientiane Times