Learning Through Listening

Literacy in Laos


This project provides reading skills to people throughout Laos who have missed out on literacy education, contributing to individual and community growth and enabling better interaction with authorities.

The literacy program also enables participants to read the Scriptures for their own personal growth and to more actively participate in church life.

The Need

Approximately 84.7 percent of the 7.5 million people in Laos are considered literate. While the enrolment ratio and attendance rate for primary school students is high, secondary school attendance drops radically to around 42 per cent. There is also disparity between the literacy levels of men (90 per cent) and women (79.4 per cent) across the country.

The Lao people group represent 55 per cent of the population and have good access to education. However, the other 45 per cent of the population is composed of ethnic minorities who often live in remote mountain areas. This typically hinders access to education, resulting in a very low literacy rate for minorities.

This project aims at reaching out to this neglected population and the underprivileged in Laos. Laos Partnership is the Bible Society presence in Laos, where there is currently no official Bible Society operating. Bible Society has a history in Laos, but war has disrupted its presence and it is currently difficult to be registered as a religious organisation.

This project has been established as a response to the needs of churches who wish to teach their non-literate members to read the Bible. This program uses the Bible and a textbook to teach literacy skills, while a local church volunteer conducts the classes, with the help of an audio device that dictates the lessons.

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