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Oudomxay Schoolchildren Get Refurbished Library after Floods

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Room to Read Laos has approved a special project to re-establish a library at Mokvieng Primary School in Baeng district, Oudomxay province, which suffered serious damage from flooding a few months ago.

The school was initially supported by Room to Read Laos with the provision of a library in 2014, which was well used until it was damaged in the rainy season.

A teacher at the school recalled the sight when first seeing the library after it was flooded. Most of the books were gone or lying on the floor covered in mud. Everything was gone and we were desperate.

The students and parents enthusiastically helped to recreate the library and were very excited when it was finished. Now the library is open regularly again and continues to serve the local community, he said.

Room to Read Laos coordinator, Ms Manysone Philathivong, told Vientiane Times after the flooding in Baeng district that the programme had provided over 300 new books, some library equipment and basic educational materials for the children at Mokvieng Primary School.

Meanwhile, programme staff are providing training in teaching methods and literacy instruction for local teachers to enable these schools to master the reading and writing of Lao as vital elements before moving on to learn other subjects in higher grades.

Room to Read Laos has also arranged for 25,000 children’s books covering a large variety of themed stories to be delivered to primary schools that lack children’s books in Pakxe and Phonthong districts in Champassak province when new libraries are built there.

Ms Manysone said the new libraries are now under construction and are expected to be completed by the end of this year, supported by Room to Read Laos.

Mokvieng Primary School has a total of 158 students and eight teachers, and teaches grades 1-5. The school is located in Mokvieng village about 20km from central Baeng district in a mountainous area.

The only way to reach the school is by small mountainous roads which are very difficult to access in the rainy season.

The flooding occurred in early August and a letter requesting help with the library’s renovation was sent by the school through the village education committee, with the support of the district and provincial education and sports department.

Room to Read Laos began operating in 2005 through three programmes: school construction, school libraries, and book publishing, to provide for schools in remote areas that lack children’s books.

The number of children borrowing books from libraries who receive assistance from Room to Read Laos is now about 150,000 a year, as recorded from 2012-2015.

T he number of people using school library services, including students and village communities, averages more than 500,000 people a year.

Room to Read seeks to transform the lives of millions of children in developing countries by focusing on literacy and gender equality in education.

Source: Vientiane Times