Media turn focus to childhood development

May 31, 2012

Thakhek, Khammuan province: Print and digital media personnel from Vientiane and the southern provinces met in Khammuan province this week for a two day workshop to discuss how the media can contribute to childhood development.

More than 30 participants from various media outlets are learning about the best methods to involve and attract children. Video clips, cartoons and simple examples of voice acting have been demonstrated at the workshop.

The workshop is organised by the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, with the support of UNICEF, and is being held at the Khammuan Women Union’s Gender Club.

Director of the Information, Culture and Tourism Department, Mr Bounthuay Siripanyatho, said “This workshop is beneficial not only for the development of the nation’s children, it’s also a great chance for participants to learn and exchange ideas on how they can contribute.”

An official from the Research Institute of the Ministry of Education and Sports, Ms Chunla Khemthong, said “The development of pre-school children is very important and necessary for Laos as a developing country. It’s necessary for children to prepare for their next step in primary school and is the essential first step in human resource development.”

The workshop is building on some of the achievements from a previous gathering held in Vientiane in February, when storytellers, artists, musicians, singers, and radio and TV producers met to discuss how to stimulate children’s capacity to learn. This was done to help form relationships and help children to reach their full potential.

Mr Bounthuay said research shows that children need a safe environment, good nutrition, stimulation, communication, and kindness from the start. They also need to learn good manners and improve their communication as they grow.

This is the third workshop held on the topic. An intermediary workshop was also held in Luang Prabang.

The Lao government has been trying to increase educational opportunities for young children and has included this field in their education development strategy for the period 2009-2015.

Ms Chunla said that by 2015, children aged 3-5 years old will be able to attend kindergarten or pre-primary school. The target is for 250,000 children to be enrolled in these schools throughout the country.


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