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Source: World Development Indicators 2006  
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Lao PDR, with almost 40 percent of the population living under the national poverty lines, is one of the poorest countries in the region and is still struggling to meet the Millennium Development Goal of Education for All by 2015.

Enrollment growth in the education sector recovered strongly after the collapse in public expenditure in the late 1990s. There is a clear picture of faster enrollment growth at the higher levels of education; with higher education, TVET and teacher training having led the way in recent enrollment growth. 

Primary and secondary enrollments have also made progress over the past ten years, driven heavily by better female enrollment. In order to meet the Millennium Development Goal of Education for All, Lao PDR will need to ensure that it has the teaching force necessary to deliver basic education services to all children and overall increase the proportion of national resources going to education.

There are  widespread disparities in education access and outcomes in Lao PDR. Children from low-income households, ethnic minority groups and rural areas have much lower participation rates and fare poorly on other educational indicators.

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World Bank Program

Basic Education

World Bank assistance to Lao PDR, through both lending and analytical services, focuses on achieving the Millennium Development Goal of Education for All and ensuring that all children have access to a quality basic education.


  • The  Second Education Development Project is focused on increasing the primary school enrollment and completion rates in the 19 poorest districts in the six poorest provinces in Laos PDR. It also aims to increase the quality of education in these areas by providing necessary quality inputs-textbooks, supplies and teachers guides. The project is also working to upgrade the capacity of the Government to monitor education progress towards Education for All through an Education Management Information System.
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June 2007

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