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Senior education officials and delegates from the National Committee for Human Resource Development gathered in Vientiane on Friday to discuss the education system in Laos, moving towards the targets set by the education development plan.
The aim of the meeting is to give participants the opportunity to share ideas, experiences and lessons learned regarding the plan, including upgrading students and officials’ knowledge and skills by sending them to pursue their studies both in Laos and overseas.
During Friday’s session participants listened to a speech by Dr Phankham on bolstering education reform.
He encouraged committees from line ministries to continue working hard to improve the nation’s education system, with the aim of producing human resources to meet the needs of labour markets.
To do so, he said, they should be holding regular teacher training courses and by providing vocational education options for students.
“We should regard this as central to improving the quality of teachers and students who will one day become government officials – they should be taught good morals and to be diligent,” Dr Phankham said.
“Improving the quality of education has long been considered one of the most effective means of helping poor countries to develop, as it ensures a better future standard of living.”
Education development must focus on improving teaching quality and curriculums, training school administrators, building more schools and introducing new teaching and learning techniques, he said.
Dr Phankham commented that compared to the recent improvements in infrastructure, the development of technical training and vocational education is poor, and the standard of education in rural areas remains low.
“If we want to improve the quality of education, we must do more to develop the general education system to bridge the gap between the rural and urban areas. We need to provide more learning materials – especially in rural areas,” Dr Phankham said.
Education in Laos has improved in recent years and has seen higher education growth in terms of both quantity and quality.
However, the sector does not yet meet the country’s human resource development needs for modernising and industrialising the country, the ministry reported.
The education system must produce people capable of developing economic infrastructure, science and technology to create an industrialised country.
The Higher Education Development Plan must coincide with the overall Socio-economic Development Plan, Human Resource Development Plan and the Education for All Plan, to achieve the Millennium Developments Goals and ensure Laos is removed from least developed country status by 2020.
The plan must also match the needs of the labour market in the public and private sectors, in terms of both quantity and quality, to match with the strategic plan for human resource development from 2016 -2025.
By Times Reporters
(Latest Update February 10 , 2014)