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Strengthening educational management capabilities and teaching and learning with ICTs to better serve the needs of socio-economic development is among the most pronounced and immediate education policy goals in Laos. The Information Technology Master Plan in Education Management has three major components:

  • The establishment of a ministerial intranet system with links to provincial education services and the National University of Laos (NUOL) in order to facilitate information collection and processes
  • The incorporation of ICT content into the secondary and tertiary curriculum
  • The promotion of distance learning and e-learning through the newly established intranet system

The MoE is currently implementing this intranet system spanning Vientiane and outside provinces. Once the system is complete, the MoE will be able to:

  • Implement specific initiatives for the development of its technical infrastructure
  • Build human resource capacity and activities in technical, administrative, and managerial areas,
  • Encourage the use of IT in education and training
  • Establish ICT tools and usage within provinces, universities, and others institutions
  • Promote the services available via intranet network to teachers, students and other potential users
  • Establish an integrated online EMIS and strengthen education management capabilities.

The Ministry is looking for foreign assistance in the development of capacity building (teachers and staff training), curriculum, and instructional materials.

In fact, responsibility for the development of ICT policies and programmes in Laos comes under several government agencies. The Ministry of Communication, Transport, Post, and Construction (MCTPC) is responsible for national telecommunications policies and regulation, while the Science, Technology, and Environment Agency (STEA) has the authority to administer policies and programmes that fall under those three subject matters. There is also a Lao National Internet Committee (LANIC) that formulates and regulates national Internet policies. LANIC is comprised of the MCTPC, the Ministry of Information and Culture (MOIC), the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), and STEA. MOIC is also technically responsible for regulating Internet content, though there are few Laotian sites for it to monitor.

Currently, the MCTPC, with support from the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA), is developing a Telecommunications Master Plan for the period 2003-2015. This plan will outline the responsibilities within the government regarding IT and clarify that MCTPC has authority over all ICT policies.