The German Adult Education Association, DVV International, supports the sustainable establishment of structures for adult education and lifelong learning in cooperation with the Ministry for Education and Sports (MoES) since the establishment of its Regional Office in Vientiane in 2009. In its annual handover ceremony on 27th February with its partner department, the Department for Non-Formal Education (DNFE), the two sides affirmed their continuing commitment to their mutual objectives and signed a new partnership agreement for 2023. The ceremony was attended by the Minister for Education and Sports, Dr. Phout Simmalavong, and the German Ambassador Annette Knobloch.
In the ceremony, DVV International handed over 1300 diaries, 1000 calendars and 300 DVV newsletters were handed over to DNFE. The handing over certificate was signed by Philany Phissamay, Deputy Director of the Department and Dr. Johann Heilmann, Regional Director for Southeast Asia of DVV International. The two sides further signed an agreement on the activities that will be carried out with financial support from the German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development in 2023. These activities will focus on the implementation of the Decree for Lifelong Learning, further strengthening of the structures of the non-formal education system and the piloting of adult education approaches benefitting especially women in rural and remote areas.
In his speech, Dr. Phout Simmalavong congratulated the two partners and expressed his wish that the comprehensive concept of lifelong learning will further take root in Lao PDR. The German Ambassador, Mrs Annette Knobloch, stressed the importance of adult and non-formal education as well as the contribution of DVV International to German development cooperation. She also pointed to the fact that in the beginning of this year 65 years of diplomatic relations between Germany and Laos will be celebrated. In his statement, Dr. Johann Heilmann highlighted the need to really focus on the most urgent priorities in order to really meet the needs of the most disadvantaged target groups.
The ceremony was preceded by the launch of an adult education publication of DVV International in Lao language. It is an assembled work of publications on adult learning and education that have been translated into Lao to make them available for a large audience in Lao PDR. It includes such important texts as the UNESCO Recommendation on Adult Learning and Education. Using this publication as a powerful instrument to further disseminate the concept of adult education, DVV International and the DNFE will continue to work in the current three-year project phase from 2021 to 2023. Further partners contributing to the project are the Faculty of Education of the National University of Laos, the Non-Formal Education Development Centre and the Rural Development Agency.