Keeping Lao Children 'Fit for School' | Lao Tribune

Keeping Lao Children ‘Fit for School’

On Feb 24, 2017, a Memorandum of Understanding for the second phase of the successful Fit for School programme in Lao PDR was signed.

Dr. MithongSouvanvixay, 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 Centre 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 being implemented by the Deutsche GesellschaftfuerInternationaleZusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH in the Philippines, the 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 started in 22 public primary schools in Vientiane Capital.

Since then, 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 Bolikhamxay – are now implementing the programme 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 examples for other primary schools in other districts and provinces.

Fit for School is a Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) in-school programme to prevent infectious diseases among primary school students with the objective of improving school attendance.

It is based on three simple and low-cost interventions: 1) daily group hand washing with soap; 2) daily group tooth brushing with fluoride toothpaste; and 3) bi-annual de-worming.

These interventions are meant to address hygiene deficiency-related diseases such as diarrhoea, respiratory infections, worm infections and dental issues that many children in Southeast Asia still suffer from.

The second phase of the Fit for School Programme will continue through November 2018 to support the establishment of WASH initiatives in schools for better resource planning and to introduce the Fit for School approach to more schools across the Lao PDR.

Source: Lao News Agency