Laos education officials say over 50,000 elementary and secondary-school students dropped out during the 2006-07 academic year. The most significant cause is reportedly budget shortage that prevents the government from extending educational opportunities to students in rural areas.
Another cause is poverty. A lot of parents cannot afford to send their children to school, and prefer to keep them at home to help out with farm work.
On the government side, officials say they are committed to make education reach all children. The government has approved an increase in education funding from 12% to 18% of the national budget. for the current academic year, aiming to extend education to very poor and remote ethnic areas by increasing the number of teachers and developing teaching quality.
Government statistics show there are around 49,000 teachers nationawide, with more than 6,200 administrative and support personnel. There are reportedly some 1.4 million students attending some 8,740 elementary schools, some 1,009 secondary schools, and around 30 vocational and universities throughout the nation.
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