Australia strengthens its support to the Ministry of Education and Sports on quality of primary teaching improvement with the establishment of BEQUAL offices in three target TTCs

After Savannakhet in November 2022 and Luang Namtha last week, the Ministry of Education and Sports of Lao PDR (MoES), with support from Australia, has opened a third BEQUAL regional office in Khang Khay teacher Training College. The official opening ceremony was held on 22nd February chaired by Mr. Khet Phanlack, Director General, Department of Education (DTE) and Ms. Rebecca McHugh, Team Leader, BEQUAL. The Deputy Director of Khang Khay TTC, Ms. Tian Phouphonethong, key TTC personnel and lecturers, and representatives of Xiengkhouang PESS and Houaphanh PESS joined the opening as they will be key partners in the implementation of the new Continuing Professional Development (CPD) system in the catchment area of Khan Khai TTC.

Mr Khet Phanlack said “The new improved primary curriculum developed with the support of Australia through the BEQUAL program has introduced a new student-centered pedagogy which is an important foundation to the achievement of quality education in Lao PDR. The essential next step in this process of improvement is the development of good quality teacher training and access to continuous professional development to ensure that teachers can successfully implement the curriculum and bring it to life in the classroom. The establishment of BEQUAL offices in three target TTCs will enable effective collaboration between DTE and BEQUAL to build the capacity of those TTC to provide quality CPD in their catchment areas.”

Ms Rebecca Mc Hugh said “Providing quality teacher training and professional development is vital for supporting teachers to apply active learning approaches in the classroom and ensuring the success of the new curriculum. The Australian Government, through BEQUAL Phase 2 is gradually shifting its focus to providing more teacher professional development and training. Quality teaching is a vital part of improving learning outcomes for all children in Lao PDR. With DTE and our target TTCs, we will enable and encourage teachers to engage in CPD activities throughout the school year to develop their confidence and teaching skills to teach the curriculum effectively.”

The new CPD activities have already started. Last week, a first series of capacity building workshops on CPD were held in the 3 target TTCs: Savannakhet, Luang Namtha and Khang Khay, to train lecturers in how to support the future Internal Pedagogical Support (IPS) teams who will be located in schools. The TTC lecturers will be responsible for training and supporting the IPS teams in their catchment areas, and these new IPS teams will be responsible for facilitating CPD in their own and neighboring schools.

Mr. Keth concluded “With Australia’s support, we are building a new system to provide all teachers with ongoing support from their principals and education staff from the district, province, and teacher training colleges throughout the school year as they navigate the curriculum and encounter teaching challenges. I look forward to this new step in our successful longstanding partnership with the Australian government with the opening of this third BEQUAL office.”

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