The official handover ceremony of the Asean State of Education Report 2013

Introduction: The official handover ceremony of the Asean State of Education Report 2013 was held on Thursday in Vientiane after the opening speech of the 8th Asean Education Ministers’ Meeting given by the host country.

Story: Shortly after the opening of the 8th ASED in Vientiane on Thursday the 11th of September the Asean State of Education Report 2013 was also launched.

Charg√© d’Affaires of the EU Delegation to Laos Michel Goffin presented a copy of the report to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education and Sports Dr Phankham Viphavanh, representing all Asean Education Ministers to officially receive the report.

The report has been published with the financial support of the EU and formulated with the technical assistance team of the Regional EU-Asean Dialogue Instruments (READI) programme.

The report provides for the first time Asean-wide quantitative data and a qualitative analysis of primary, secondary, tertiary, and vocational education.

Michel Goffin said, we hope that the report will not only provide quality information to national policymakers in Asean, but also lay the basis for a potential policy dialogue between Asean and the European Union with a focus on regional mobility, lifelong learning and quality assurance in education.The EU believes that quality education is a driver of strong and sustainable development, economic growth and a vital element in the fight against poverty.

In Asean, education is one of the key priority areas for intervention by EU development cooperation assistance both in terms of volume of assistance and focus.

Education is also one of the EU’s three priorities for intervention in Laos. The EU has to date provided significant financial support to the education sector in Laos and in 2014/15 some 15 million euros will be allocated to ensure equitable access to quality basic education, as well as strengthening sector planning, financing and budgeting.

Other Asean member states have also received substantial financial assistance from the EU for their education development efforts. Indonesia, Myanmar and Cambodia, receive a combined assistance of more than 700 million euros.

At the regional level, the EU will soon start implementation of a new regional programme with Asean called the EU Support to Asean Regional Education programme or EU SHARE with EU financial support of 10 million euros.

The programme aims to enhance Asean connectivity in its efforts towards harmonising its higher education institutions by sharing key elements of the Bologna process. A large scholarship programme will be developed under SHARE.

EU education initiatives have also helped improve higher education and the prospects of students worldwide and promoted intercultural understanding with third countries including Asean, from where over 2,000 students, researchers and university staff have been provided with the opportunity to study or teach in Europe under the Erasmus Mundus programme over the past five years (2008-2012).

Source: Lao National Television News in English