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Lunch meeting: Remote, rural schooling in Laos: a mobilities perspective

Roy Huisjmans, International Institute of Social Studies, The Hague, The Netherlands

2021.09.17 | Mads Hougaard Nielsen

Date Wed 01 Dec
Time 12:00 13:15
Location Room D118 (DPU Emdrup)

Remote, rural schooling is often discussed in deficit terms, in which the many problems characterizing it are attributed to its peripheral location. More positive accounts of remote, rural schooling stress the sense of belonging that the experience of such highly imperfect rural schooling may still realise. In this paper, I foreground the multiple mobilities that comprise rural schooling and that remain underemphasized in these accounts of remote, rural education.

Drawing on research conducted as part of an ESRC-DFID funded project. I discuss five forms of mobilities comprising remote, rural schooling: 1. Mobilities through which the hierarchies of the Lao state are enacted in remote rural locations, 2. the mobilities of (inter)national development work in relation to remote rural education, 3. The mobilities of rural teachers and their livelihoods, 4. The assumed lack of mobility of rural villagers, and 5. The absent presence of mobilities essential for realising school-induced aspirations.

I conclude that remote rural schools need to be understood not just as service providers or institutions, but also as nodes in various mobilities, and that their ‘stuckness’ in terms of learning outcomes could well be an outcome of the frictions between the multiple mobilities comprising remote rural schooling 

Zoom link: https://aarhusuniversity.zoom.us/j/62319583378