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Australia, EU support for Lao educational development continues unabated

The Australian government and European Union are continuing to support the Lao Ministry of Education and Sports with primary school curriculum development and the delivery of new textbooks during the COVID-19 crisis ahead of the upcoming school year.
The Basic Education Quality and Access in Laos (BEQUAL) programme recently reported that Australia and the European Union have been assisting the ministry with the revision and implementation of the new primary curriculum since 2015.

This strong collaboration continued amid the COVID-19 crisis, and programme teams increased their efforts to ensure that Grade 2 materials for the next school year would be ready and dispatched as soon as lockdown measures were eased.
The first convoy of trucks loaded with boxes of teaching and learning resources for schools departed the central warehouse last week.
An official in charge of the BEQUAL programme told Vientiane Times last week that Grade 2 primary students would receive a full set of textbooks for the Lao Language, Sciences and Environment, and Morals subjects.
The new books are very colourful to stimulate students’ attention and memory retention.
Primary schools nationwide will receive at least one Teacher Resource Box, depending on Grade 2 enrollment numbers in each school. Each box contains a set of 17 age-appropriate storybooks, 72 decodable readers and two ‘busy pictures’ (themed posters).
The storybooks and decodable readers are essential materials to help children improve their Lao Language proficiency with the readers containing simple stories to help children learn to read independently.
The busy pictures show everyday activities in rural and urban settings that teachers can use to develop cognitive and critical thinking skills and comprehension.
All these new teaching and learning resources were designed to enable active learning which is at the core of the new curriculum pedagogical method.
The textbook content and extra resources have been carefully reviewed to ensure the curriculum is fair and equitable to all children and will help more of them, especially girls and those from disadvantaged groups, to improve their learning outcomes.
The packing of 683,645 decodable readers, 159,205 storybooks and 18,730 busy pictures into 9,365 teacher resource boxes was fast-tracked to be completed just before the lockdown.
A virtual monitoring system was developed to approve the production of 756,000 Grade 2 textbooks remotely.
All materials are now leaving the central Vientiane warehouse of a Lao logistics company bound for 148 District Education and Sports Bureaus (DESB) across the country.
The trucks have received permission for cross-provincial travel, and it will take only 12 days to reach all districts. DESBs will then arrange delivery to schools.

By Times Reporters
(Latest Update May 27, 2020)

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