Theme: Access & Quality of Education
Location: Vientiane and Oudomxay Provinces, LAOS
Duration: April 2019 – March 2024
Teachers, Trainers, Officials
Parents & Community Members
Over the last decade, the education sector in Laos has made considerable progress – there are more and more schools, and the quality of education is ever improving. Nonetheless, there are still many challenges to overcome: a lack of staff and facilities (particularly in remote, non-Lao speaking communities), scant access to preschool education, poor learning outcomes of primary school children, rudimentary teaching techniques and learning materials, weak school management systems, poor school environments (clean water, sanitation and educators’ awareness of child rights) and a lack of extra-curricular activities that enhance children’s practical knowledge, skills and experiences, to name but a few.
Among these challenges, early grade literacy remains a major one, with significant differences between urban and more rural and remote schools, where there are often larger numbers of students who do not speak Lao as their first language. The poor results shown in the Early Grades Reading Assessment, conducted in six provinces in 2012, indicate that teaching practices are not providing effective support to students for the development of early grade literacy and numeracy skills – most teachers use a traditional teaching style – lecturing and copying on the blackboard. This in turn negatively impacts the ability of students to effectively participate in education, life-long learning, and employment opportunities. Our own research and observations have highlighted the need for improved access to educational resources. With teachers and students showing a great interest in Lao language learning on a broad range of topics, there is a need for additional teaching and learning content that supplements the standard curriculum.
Also, many children live in home environments that do not support school learning, and have no or very limited access to books.
Ethnic children living in poor, rural and economically-excluded communities are disproportionately affected by this and have the country’s worst education outcomes, putting them at high risk of late enrollment, irregular attendance, grade repetition and early dropout.
This project focuses on improving the learning outcomes of ethnic and marginalized children. It promotes quality in early literacy and numeracy teaching and learning both at school and at home, and encourages the use of ICT (Innovative Communications Technology) to enhance teaching literacy and numeracy.
This project is aligned with the 8th Education Sector Development Plan of the Lao PDR (2016-2020) and Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG4) “to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”. It operates under and MoU signed with the Lao Ministry of Education and Sports (MOES) and supports 30 schools in 7 districts of Vientiane and Oudomxay Provinces.
Key activities include:
- Training teachers in learner-centered approaches
- Training parents and communities on child development and learning
- Running low cost mobile libraries to serve young children in villages
- Conducting literacy assessment for Grade 3, 4, or 5 students.
- Developing a digital platform/application, including great learning content
- Supplying low cost tablets to schools
- Setting up a safe e-classrooms in 20 primary schools as ICT learning rooms
- Training teachers in the basic use and maintenance of tablets and in teaching and learning methods for tablets and apps
In preparation for this project, Aide et Action conducted a Literacy and Numeracy Survey. The report of this survey (Feb 2019) is available on this website.