MoU Signing Ceremony for ChildFund Laos Project, Promoting Accountability and Education Rights (PAER) Project in Huameuang and Xamneua Districts, Huaphanh Province, Lao PDR.

Mr Vilaphong Phommasy from the Provincial Education and Sports Department Of Houaphan, MoES and Mr. Biju Abraham, Country Director of ChildFund Laos signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on July 17, 2020 for the implementation of the Promoting Accountability and Education Rights (PAER) Project in Huameuang and Xamneua Districts, Huaphanh Province, Lao PDR.

Promoting Accountability and Education Rights (PAER) is a 3 year project from 2020-2023 led by ChildFund Laos with funding from the European Union. The primary focus of PAER is to support and strengthen civil society groups including young mothers’ groups, ethnic girls’ groups, children and youth groups, teachers and people with disabilities in 60 target villages to realise children’s rights to education. The project also focuses on increasing community representation in school planning. This is coupled with system strengthening of Village Education Development Committees and District Education and Sports Bureau. These actions are vital to the functioning of a healthy civil society in Laos at the village level, so that even the most vulnerable members of society can have their voices heard and participate in decision-making processes in which they previously had no say. The objectives of PAER align with the government’s education vision to 2030, by improving the education system in order to develop human resources with knowledge and skills to meet the demands of a growing and sustainable economy of Lao PDR. These objectives pave the way to conducting inclusive education promotion from the village to the national level through the sharing and dissemination of information and learning in the Education Sector Working Group.

ChildFund Laos considers partnership as an essential engagement tool for accountability and sustainability of the project. Childfund Laos will be collaborating with strategic partners like District Education and Sports Bureau (DESB) in each district and Provincial Education and Sports Service (PESS) in Huaphanh to plan, implement and monitor different activities. In addition, ChildFund Laos will also partner with co-applicant non-profit associations such as the Aid for Children with Disability Association (ACDA) and the Life Skills Development Association (LSDA). A key component of this partnership is to strengthen capacity and knowledge of communities and village-level CSOs on children’s rights, particularly their rights on access to education and their right to be free from discrimination.

The PAER project is a result of a co-creation and collaboration with Ministry of Education and Sports in partnership with ACDA and LSDA. Mr. Biju Abraham said: “This collective engagement aspires to increase community participation, and especially the participation of children, in village-level decisions that are relevant to them. Through PAER, we hope to substantially expand the prospects of our increased information sharing and effective engagement for country-wide inclusive and quality education.”