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Continuing to make Lao children ‘Fit for School’

25 November 2019

Vientiane, Lao PDR – On 25 November 2019, the Memorandum of Understanding for the third phase of the successful Fit for School program in Lao PDR was signed by Dr. Silinthone Sacklokham, Director General of the Department of External Relations of the Ministry of Education and Sports signed the MoU together with Dr. Ramon C. Bacani, Director of the Regional Center for Educational Innovation and Technology of the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO INNOTECH) and Ms. Nicole Siegmund, GIZ, Principal Advisor of the Regional Fit for School Programme.

The Regional Fit for School Programme is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) in the Philippines, Lao PDR, Cambodia and Indonesia. The programme, commissioned by the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), has been supporting the MoES of Lao PDR since December 2011. In Lao PDR, the programme has started out in 22 public primary schools in Vientiane Capital. Up until today, this number has increased to over 2,700 primary schools nationwide, benefitting over 235,000 children in Lao PDR. In addition, over 140 secondary, and more than 500 pre-primary schools have also started to implement the program.

The Fit for School approach strengthens school-based management to support the implementation of water, sanitation and hygiene programs, including daily group handwashing with soap and toothbrushing with fluoride toothpaste and regular deworming, to address high-impact diseases. Combined with improved access to clean water, washing facili-ties and appropriate sanitation, key determinants of health are ad-dressed in a single intervention package. Fit for School focuses on measures that are simple, scalable, sustainable and integrated into the education system.

The third phase of the Fit for School program continues until November 2021 to support the establishment of a WASH in schools monitoring system for improved resource planning and capacity building across Lao PDR.

About GIZ

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is a global service provider in the field of international cooperation for sustainable development with more than 17,000 employees. GIZ has over 50 years of experience in a wide variety of areas, including economic development and employment, energy and the environment, and peace and security. As a public-benefit federal enterprise, GIZ supports the German Government – in particular the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) – and public and private sector clients in around 130 countries in achieving their objectives in international cooperation. With this aim, GIZ works together with its partners to develop effective solutions that offer people better prospects and sustainably improve their living conditions.

About SEAMEO INNOTECH The SEAMEO Regional Center for Educational Innovation and Technology (SEAMEO INNOTECH) is one of three SEAMEO regional centers hosted by the Government of the Philippines. SEAMEO INNOTECH is dedicated to development of innovative education solutions for improving access to quality education for all learners in Southeast Asia. The Center conducts training and capacity building programs for education professionals and key education stakeholders, research and development and knowledge dissemination on educational innovation and technology.