Australia reaffirms commitment to quality primary education for all children in Laos

25/03/2024 15:28
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KPL (KPL) Minister for Education and Sports Phout Simmalavong, and Australia’ Ambassador to Laos Megan Jones visited a primary school in Kham district, Xiengkhouang Province to observe the revised national primary curriculum being taught.


Minister of Education and Sports Phout  Simmalavong (L) and Australia’ Ambassador to Laos Megan Jones welcomed by primary student in Kham district, Xiengkhouang Province

(KPL) Minister for Education and Sports Phout Simmalavong, and Australia’ Ambassador to Laos Megan Jones visited a primary school in Kham district, Xiengkhouang Province to observe the revised national primary curriculum being taught.

In Xiengkhouang, Ambassador Jones also hosted an information session about the Australian Government’s tertiary scholarships program – the Australia Awards scholarships – for potential Lao applicants.

Minister Phout and Ambassador Jones observing a Grade 5 students learning how to tell the time in English

 “The Lao government recognises that quality basic education is the foundation of a prosperous and peaceful nation. With the support of Australia, we revised the national primary curriculum to integrate a new teaching approach in which student engagement and learning is facilitated through activities, hands-on experience, and practical application. I am delighted to be here today with Ambassador Jones to observe the new way of teaching and learning that is guiding the development of Lao’s future generation,” Minister Phout said during the school visit.

 “Australia has a long-term partnership with the Lao government in education. Our goal, working with the Ministry of Education and Sports, is that primary school-aged children in Laos, particularly those experiencing disadvantage, increase their engagement in learning and improve their learning outcomes.  We are very honored that the Lao government entrusted Australia through the BEQUAL program to improve primary education and revise the national primary curriculum. It is a huge endeavour and I am pleased to be here today in this lovely primary school with Minister Phout to witness the results of our joint efforts,” said Ambassador Jones.

During recess, the students enjoy reading

Minister Phout and Ambassador Jones observed Lao Language, Science and Environment and English classes being taught using the revised curriculum and the teaching and learning materials developed with Australian support. They were pleased to see students collaborating, engaging with the materials, learning through experimentation and reflecting on what they were doing. They congratulated the school Principal and teachers and recognized the key role of teachers to bring the revised curriculum to life.

Grade 3 students practicing area calculation in the school garden

 “The Ministry of Education and Sports, with Australian support, has significantly transformed primary education through the new national primary curriculum. This pivotal change introduces a student-centered, active learning approach, moving away from rote learning to equip students with essential 21st century skills. We recognise that teachers will require ongoing support to fully adopt the new teaching and learning practices. The Australian Government will continue its collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Sports through the BEQUAL program with a stronger focus on teacher professional development,” Ambassador Jones added.

Australian Embassy gave storybooks, sports and learning materials to the school 

BEQUAL is a program led by the Lao government with support from the Australian Government and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The program focuses on enhancing educational outcomes for the nation's youth, especially the vulnerable and disadvantaged. BEQUAL will also continue to focus on ensuring gender equality and promoting inclusive education across all activities.

KPL

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