The five-day training will build principals’ skills for supporting Continuous Professional Development for their teachers
In an effort to enhance teaching quality and student learning outcomes, the Department of Teacher Education (DTE) supported by Australia and the United Sates Agency for International Development (USAID) through the BEQUAL Program is hosting a five-day training workshop for Principals. The workshop aims to empower principals to become effective leaders in supporting teachers’ Continuous Professional Development (CPD).
The training will take place in late January to early February and will reach 2,700 principals and deputy principals from BEQUAL’s 30 target districts. Mr. Saiyaphone Chandavong, Provincial Trainer from Khangkhai Teacher Training College in Xiengkhuang Province said that “By equipping principals with a better understanding of the teacher CPD system and providing them with the necessary tools, we aim to strengthen their role in creating an environment that fosters continuous professional growth among teachers. This will directly contribute to improving teaching quality and student learning outcomes.”
Ms. Maimaly, a principal of Numchang Primary School, Laungnamtha District, expressed her excitement about the upcoming training workshop, she said that “As a principal, I understand the critical role I play in supporting the professional development of the teachers at my school. This workshop will provide us with the knowledge and skills we need to create an enabling environment for teacher CPD, which in turn will positively impact the learning experiences of our students.”
The workshop will cover various essential topics, including understanding the teacher CPD system, the primary curriculum, principals’ roles and responsibilities related to teacher CPD, and strategies for creating an enabling environment for teachers’ professional development. It will also focus on building rapport with teachers, fostering effective teamwork, utilising active learning techniques, and exploring assessment strategies.
Reflecting on the expected outcomes of the workshop, Ms. Somvilay Ouphaxai, Provincial Trainer from Savannakhet Provincial Education and Sports Services (PESS), another lead trainer, noted that “By the end of this workshop, principals will be equipped with a comprehensive understanding of CPD, enabling them to identify practical solutions to engage teachers in CPD activities effectively. They will also gain insights into the support and resources that are available to be used for teacher CPD.”
The training workshop is part of the BEQUAL Phase 2 strategy approved by the Ministry of Education and Sports of Lao PDR (MoES), which aims to decentralise CPD and provide more opportunities for professional development at the school level. Through the establishment of Internal Pedagogical Support (IPS) teams in each district, including teachers, deputy principals, and principals, the BEQUAL Phase 2 strategy strives to ensure effective planning and implementation of CPD activities.
Ms. Lisa Nguyen, a DESB coordinator, shared her enthusiasm for the workshop, stating, “We believe that empowering principals as leaders in supporting teacher CPD is essential for transforming the education system in Laos. By providing principals with the necessary training and resources, we are optimistic that they will become catalysts for change, leading to improved teaching quality and enhanced student learning outcomes.”
Following the workshop, principals will apply their newly acquired knowledge and skills to create an enabling environment for teacher CPD in their schools. To support teacher CPD effectively, it will be crucial for principals to plan for their own ongoing professional development. In the planned half-day reflection and learning workshop during Semester 2 of the 2023-24 school year, principals will have an opportunity to reflect on their progress in implementing action plans for creating an enabling environment, where they are confident or less confident, as well as areas for their own professional development for enabling teacher CPD.
As MoES takes a significant step towards promoting professional development at the school level, this training workshop marks an important milestone in building a strong educational foundation for generations to come. By investing in the growth and development of principals, MoES, with the support of Australia and USAID, is promoting a culture of continuous learning at the school level so that teachers have support and opportunities to improve the quality and inclusiveness of teaching and learning.