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Ministry of Education of Lao PDR signs MoU with SEAMEO INNOTECH and GIZ on scaling up the Fit for School Programme

Ministry of Education of Lao PDR signs MoU with SEAMEO INNOTECH and GIZ on scaling up the Fit for School Programme

Vientiane, Lao PDR – On 24 February 2017, the Memorandum of Understanding for the second phase of the successful Fit for School program in Lao PDR was signed. Dr. Mithong Souvanvixay, Director General of the Department of Pre-School and Primary Education (DPPE) 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 South-East 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 GIZ in the Philippines, Lao PDR, Cambodia and Indonesia. The programme 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 400 schools nationwide, benefitting over 42,000 children in Lao PDR. Two districts – Sisattanak in Vientiane and Taphabath in Bolikhamsay – are now implementing the program in all their public and private primary schools. Fit for school model schools have been established in all provinces of Lao PDR and serve as good practice examples for other primary schools in their district and province.

Fit for School is a Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) in schools program to prevent infectious diseases among primary school students to improve school attendance. It is based on three simple and low-cost interventions: 1) daily group handwashing with soap; 2) daily group toothbrushing with fluoride toothpaste; and 3) bi-annual deworming. These interventions are meant to address hygiene deficiency-related diseases, such as diarrhoea, respiratory infections, worm infections and dental caries that many children in Southeast Asia still suffer from.

The second phase of the Fit for School program continues until November 2018 to support the establishment of a WASH in schools monitoring system for better resource planning and to introduce the Fit for School approach to more schools across Lao PDR.

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