Human Capital Investments: Comprehensive sexuality education to empower adolescents in Lao PDR for realizing their full potential (1)

6 August 2020

Imagine if the next generation of school graduates receive essential life skills as part of their education?  Would not the human capital of Lao have higher capacity and on sequent opportunities?

This is exactly what UNFPA is supporting the Ministry of Education and Sports(MoES) to achieve! COVID-19 has shown how important human capacity and resilience is and investing in youth and adolescents in imperative to build back better. 


Adolescence is a period of rapid change; it brings a strong urge to experiment and takes risks, of giving in to peer pressure which can often be negative, of taking uninformed decisions, especially those relating to one’s body and sexuality. Adolescence is a turning point in one’s life, a period of increased potential but also greater vulnerability. Adolescent girls and boys face many similar challenges, but adolescent girls face a higher pressure to conform, on self- image and worth, on managing emotions, developing confidence and healthy relationships, on their negotiation skills, and dealing with peer pressure.


To protect adolescents, UNFPA supports life skills interventions that allow adolescents to strengthen their abilities to seek information, services, and make informed choices.

UNFPA is supporting the Ministry of Education and Sports in Lao PDR to integrate Phed Suk Sa i.e. comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) into the primary curriculum in collaboration with BEQUAL Programme supported by the Australian Government and the European Union; developing teachers guide books for secondary schools; a manual for vocational training institutes and training teachers in schools and vocational training institutes.


The key concepts are taught to students in an age-appropriate, increasingly complex, and culturally sensitive manner. UNFPA focuses on delivering CSE in interactive ways, including group discussions, role-plays, and storytelling. Phed Suk Sa meaning CSE in the Lao language has been integrated into grades 1 - 3 of primary schools, while grades 4 and 5 will be covered in the next two years covering over 400,000 students. For secondary schools, 140 teachers in 45 schools have been trained to deliver CSE to 25,000 students in Bokeo province. CSE delivery is being expanded to 3 new provinces through a strategic partnership with INGOs (PLAN International and Child Fund Laos) covering another 27,000 students. In addition, CSE in technical and vocational training institutes covers over 3,000 students


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