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Education Ministry Mulls Ways to Improve Children’s Literacy

Source: Vientiane Times

The Ministry of Education and Sports is joining hands with its partners to improve children’s reading, in collaboration with book publishers.

An event titled the Children’s Book Publishers Engagement Workshop, which is taking place on Monday and Tuesday this week, is giving stakeholders the opportunity to discuss all book-publishing related issues and providing the first step for communication and continued collaboration.

Book publishers, government officials and other participants brainstormed ways to empower publishers to implement initiatives to supply and create demand for children’s books.

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They discussed the work methods, roles and responsibilities of publishing houses and agreed on the role of the public sector, the private sector and development partners in the recruitment of children’s book publishers.

The USAID Learn to Read project also convened a Children’s Book Publishers Engagement Workshop in Vientiane province, which marked the beginning of a strong and long-lasting relationship of cooperation between book publishers in Laos.

Book publishing in Laos, particularly of children’s books, is not widespread. This is due to a number of reasons which feed into each other, such as the low availability and variety of children’s books, difficulty accessing the books that are available, a high number of unregistered books on the market, and the absence of a reading culture.

The workshop made significant progress in addressing challenges in the supply and demand of books, which is inherently tied to reading culture and the improvement of children’s literacy and overall education.

In addition, Learn to Read supports the Ministry of Education and Sports to improve reading outcomes for children at the pre-primary and Grade 1 and 2 levels through the development and distribution of inclusive teaching and learning materials, storybooks, and training for teachers.

Together, they developed a comprehensive action plan on how they will cooperate to overcome the various challenges and ensure that children are more easily able to access storybooks.