Internal Pedagogical Support team members were selected based on skills and experience and 56% are women
The Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES), with support from the Australian government through the Basic Education Quality and Access in Lao PDR (BEQUAL) program, is establishing a new nationwide system for teachers’ Continuing Professional Development (CPD) . CPD will be delivered by principals, deputy principals and teachers selected to be part of Internal Pedagogical Support (IPS) teams in each district. The goal is to provide ongoing support to teachers to improve the quality of teaching in primary schools, and ultimately to improve student learning outcomes.
Mr Keth Phanhlack, Director General of the Department of Teacher Education (DTE) said: “Teachers play a key role in the implementation of the new curriculum and the successful learning of students. Education research has shown that teaching quality and school leadership are the most important factors in improving student learning outcomes. For teachers and educational leaders to be highly effective, they need to continually expand their knowledge and skills. Continuing Professional Development (CPD) of teachers is key to the success of students. The Ministry of Education and Sports, with support from the Australian Government, will establish IPS teams based at the school and cluster level and build their capacity to respond to teacher’s CPD needs.”
In February and March, a series of IPS team selection workshops were organized for 30 target districts in 7 target provinces (Phongsaly, Luang Namtha, Bokeo, Houaphanh, Xiangkhouang, Savannakhet, Khammouane). The workshops were held in the 3 Teacher Training Colleges (TTCs) responsible for those areas (Luang Namtha TTC, Khang Khay TTC and Savannakhet TTC).
The selection committees were composed of representatives from District Education and Sports Bureau for each of the 30 districts.
The selected IPS teams consist of teachers (60%), deputy principals, and principals (40%).
The selection criteria for for IPS team membership were based on the characteristics of good trainers such as primary teaching experience, subject content and new curriculum knowledge, commitment to improving teacher quality, and commitment to supporting fellow teachers in their classrooms.
The selection committees were also asked to consider gender balance, which was achieved with great success. Across all district teams, 56% are women and all 30 districts achieved the minimum target of 50% women.
Mr Keth added “The Teacher Training Colleges will lead on building the capacity of the Internal Pedagogical Support teams to provide high quality pedagogical support to teachers. Australia, through the BEQUAL program, will provide the training and support required by the Teacher Training Colleges to carry out this role.”
The first round of IPS team training will start in April, with the training of trainers located in the three target TTCs. Technical teams from the TTCs will cascade the training to IPS teams in June. The training will establish a shared understanding of DTE’s vision for IPS teams and the CPD system, and build the knowledge and skills of participants in training facilitation, adult learning principles, how to conduct school visits , using formative assessment to inform professional development, how to facilitate professional dialogue with a teacher, peer observation, learning circles, and how to identify and respond to an individual teacher’s CPD needs.
The second round of training will happen in July and August. The IPS teams will start to support the primary teachers in their local areas during the 2023-24 school year. They will carry out primary school visits and provide one-to-one advice to teachers to help them improve their teaching skills and knowledge. They will have a wide range of CPD tools and techniques at their disposal such as classroom observations, co-teaching, learning circles and more.