Laos: training teachers in children's rights

In the provinces of Vientiane and Oudomxay, Lao People's Democratic Republic (PDR), teachers in 30 schools have been trained in child rights with the aim of changing their teaching methods and the school experience of children in the country.

Ms. Nangmany, a teacher at Natiew Primary School in Vientiane Province, participated in the training in August 2021 and is now ready to advocate for children's rights. "I will pass on this knowledge to the students as well as to the caregivers, because they should be concerned about children's rights, child protection, child care, child development and positive discipline, she said. 

Violence against children: a common reality in Lao PDR

According to the 2019 Lao PDR Violence Against Children Survey, one in six children have experienced at least one form of physical violence before the age of 18. Corporal punishment is still a reality in pre-schools and primary schools in Lao PDR and many teachers are not aware of child rights and child protection laws. To reduce violence in schools and foster better learning environments in schools, Aide et Action has been training teachers on inclusive education, child rights and participation, and child development since 2019, as part of the organisation's goal to provide inclusive and child-friendly pre-primary and primary school environments. 

  1. Daobandone, a 40-year-old teacher at Konkham Primary School in Vientiane Province, was delighted to learn new positive discipline techniques. "It was very beneficial to learn about children's rights and positive discipline. Now that I am trained, I prefer to use positive discipline, and I will not make the same mistakes again, he said.
  2. Sengsouk, who teaches at Phonsavath 3 Primary School in Vientiane Province, also found the workshops useful. "I will apply the lessons learned in this training session, for example by encouraging students to read and write from Khmu to Lao, he said.

A look into the future

Ms Ngoykham, 36, a teacher at Phonsavath 1 primary school in Vientiane province, also appreciated the training which strengthened her knowledge of children's rights and positive discipline and she is already thinking about the next training that Aide et Action will offer. "For the next training, I would like Aide et Action to organise longer training sessions to exchange ideas and discover new games for children, she said. "I would also like to know more about how games like football can be used to teach lessons. Finally, I would also like to be trained to help children with disabilities, and receive technical training on how to teach them."

As a result of the teachers' participation in the two-day training sessions, their behavioural changes and practices in terms of inclusion, interaction with children and communication are monitored and discussed during future school visits. Through teacher training, Aide et Action is providing a better and safer learning environment for children in Lao PDR, so that they continue to go to school.

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