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Reduced teacher quota is curbing growth of education

The reduced quota of teachers allocated to schools by the government, which has fallen by 2,000 compared to the 2020-21 academic year, is one of the reasons for the slow growth of the education sector.
This was the assessment given by Minister of Education and Sports, Associate Prof. Dr Phout Simmalavong, in a report to the National Assembly last week.
The Minister expressed particular concern over inadequate teacher numbers in primary and preschools, saying that this school year at least 250 of these schools had no full-time teachers.

Minister of Education and Sports, Associate Prof. Dr Phout Simmalavong addresses the National Assembly.

There is also a shortage of specialised teachers in secondary schools, vocational training centres, and higher educational institutions, he said.
In an effort to address the poor standard of education, the ministry is also taking steps to address the problem of teachers who do not take classes in the subjects they studied as trainees, as well as teachers who have not had any formal training.
Teachers who are not specialised in any subject and those who trained in a particular subject but now need to switch to another field because of their school’s requirements, will need to undergo retraining.
Associate Prof. Dr Phout said the issue of volunteer teachers has its roots in two sets of circumstances. Some students have a strong desire to become teachers and work on a voluntary basis in the hope of eventually being allocated an official government position, while rural schools employ volunteer teachers because there are no trained teachers available.
According to the Ministry of Education and Sports, in the 2016-17 school year, more than 12,000 volunteer teachers were working at schools around the country.
A few years ago the Ministry of Home Affairs took the decision not to accept volunteer teachers and the Ministry of Education and Sports informed schools across the country that this decision would stand from the academic year 2017-18 onwards.
But in reality volunteer teachers continue to be recruited. Although the Ministry of Education and Sports is taking steps to reduce the number, there are currently 7,693 volunteer teachers.
In the 2020-21 school year, the ministry recruited and deployed a total of 3,326 teachers, with the number rising to 3,595 in the 2021-22 school year.


By Times Reporters
 (Latest Update June 20, 2022)

       

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