While children are getting ready for school, this is not the case for other children in the most remote parts of the world. Thereby, UNICEF came up with a program ‘Schools for Asia’ that wants to help millions of children in Asia to school.
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UNICEF launches Schools for Asia initiative
Most vulnerable children
These are the children of the poorest families or children with an ethnic background. UNICEF wants to offer equal opportunities for boys and girls, ensure quality education and wants to ensure that children actually finish school.
Education for Children is Out of Reach
In Laos, for example, education for 260,000 children is out of reach. Sing (10), a boy from the Lavi ethnic group, lives with his family in southern Laos. Until recently he could not go to school because the road to it was long (an hour and a half) and dangerous. In addition, he had to help his parents make ends meet. Thanks to UNICEF, Sing now does not have to walk to school himself, but the school comes to him via a mobile school. Teachers travel across the country by bus, bicycle or on foot to teach as many children as possible.
The UNICEF approach
- Mobile teachers who travel to the areas themselves
- Building classrooms
- Handing out school materials
- Train teachers
- Child-Friendly schools (clean, hygienic, safe, encourages participation, child-friendly teachers)
- Clean water in schools, separate latrines (toilets) for boys and girls and information about hygiene
- Children check for health and vaccinating children so that they go to school healthy
- Bringing the most vulnerable children, such as ethnic minorities, to school
- Preschool learning: preparing children and their parents for school, to remove disadvantages (such as speaking another language/dialect) before going to school and to give everyone equal opportunities
Result of Unicef’s Approach
UNICEF’s approach is bearing fruit. In Laos, the number of children going to school is increasing. Across Asia, more than 5.5 million children have benefited from better education since the launch of this aid program in 2005.
Many children like Sing are happy that they could learn to read and write because the mobile school is just close by and that he no longer has to walk going to school.