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Capacity Development for Education for All (CapEFA) for Lao PDR: Policy Workshop on the Expansion of Vocational Education at the Secondary Level

4-5 July 2011

Vientiane, Lao PDR



This policy workshop was organised under the framework of UNESCO Bangkok’s country support programme in Lao PDR, Capacity-development for Education For All (CapEFA), in particular one of its four components on capacity-development for secondary education reforms. The main objective of UNESCO’s interventions under this component is to contribute to strengthening the capacity of the Ministry of Education at both central and decentralized levels in planning, managing and monitoring the secondary education reforms to expand and improve the system.

The Department of Secondary Education under the Ministry of Education has recently finalized a secondary education sub-sector action plan (due for adoption in 2011).  The plan lays out priority programmes and activities that the Department of Secondary Education will undertake to reach educational goals and targets under the Education Sector Development Framework (ESDF) adopted by the Government of Lao PDR.  However, according to the ESDF as well as the secondary education sub-sector action plan, one of the key targets for the sub-sector specifies that 25% of total upper secondary students will enrol in vocational programmes and among them female students representing 50% and a minimum of 20% from the poorest families by 2015.  As of 2008, the total enrolment of TVET students at the upper secondary level is only 1,685, which is roughly only 0.01% of total enrolments (UIS, 2011).  In order to support the Ministry of Education, in particular the Department of Secondary Education along with the Department of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) to reach this target, UNESCO Bangkok (Education Policy and Reform Unit) and the Ministry of Education organized a policy workshop on the expansion of vocational education at the secondary education.

The workshop allowed for senior staff from the Ministry of Education and other relevant institutions to review the policy target on vocational secondary education, to learn from other country experiences and to identify the policy options, measures and actions needed to reach this target. 



UNESCO Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education (UNESCO Bangkok, Education Policy and Reform Unit) and Ministry of Education, Lao PDR


Dates and venue

Lang Xane Hotel, Vientiane, Lao PDR, 4-5 July 2011


Objective of the workshop

The objective of the policy workshop was to provide the initial knowledge and capacity for the relevant stakeholders in the government to analyse, develop and carry out practical strategies for improving TVET at the upper secondary level. More particularly, the workshop allowed the participants to: 

  • Obtain a clear understanding of other countries’ experiences and lessons in regard to vocational education at secondary schools 
  • Identify the specific policy issues, measures and actions for the expansion of vocational education under the Lao context
  • Draw a plan for policy development for the expansion of vocational education at the secondary level  





*Please note that the presentations from the representatives from Australia, Malaysia, Thailand and UNEVOC do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of UNESCO.