Main barriers to education
Laos, is a landlocked country in Southeast Asia with a population of just under 6.5 million and a sparse population density.
“Lao People’s Democratic Republic, is classified as one of the poorest countries, poverty includes a lack of land and livestock ownership, limited access to credit, poor infrastructure, and inadequate delivery of such public services as health and education.” (UNICEF, 2011)
The government of Laos, one of the few remaining one-party communist states, it began decentralizing control and encouraging private enterprise in 1986, and in the years 2008-2013 the economy grew at a rate of 7% per year.
Despite such strong economic progress, infrastructure in this country remains underdeveloped and much of the population depends on rice production and other capital intensive natural resource exports such as the gathering of non-timber forest products, for their livelihood.
Export of natural resources reduced poverty rates by 20% (from 46% to 26%) in the years between 1992 and 2010.
In Laos, basic education is defined as primary and lower secondary school, and is comprised of nine years of education. Although free, a lack of adequate infrastructure and qualified teachers pose an ongoing challenge to the education system in this country.