The signing ceremony for the Exchange of Notes on Grant Aid for the Project for Improving the Lower Secondary School Environment in the Central and Southern Provinces was held on 26th May 2017 at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Vientiane Capital. The Notes were signed and exchanged by Mr. Sengphet HOUNGBOUNGNUANG, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Lao PDR and Mr. Takeshi Hikihara, Ambassador of Japan to the Lao PDR. The Government of Japan has decided to provide this grant aid amounting to JPY 46 million (about US$ 414,676) to implement the project.
In the National Socio-Economic Development Plan (NSEDP), the Government of the Lao PDR identifies education as one of the most important sectors, whereby the universalization and improvement of basic education are deemed preconditions for human resource development toward continuous economic growth and poverty alleviation, and is thus prioritized in the national policy. In line with this policy, the Lao PDR established lower secondary education as compulsory in July 2015D Furthermore, the 8th Education sector Development Plan (ESDP:2016-2020) aims to improve the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) of secondary education to 85% by 2020 in order to realize the national vision to graduate from Least Developed Country status by 2020.