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Stakeholders Meet to Finalize the First-Ever Secondary Education Action Plan in Lao PDR

(c) KPL Lao News Agency

Vientiane, Lao PDR: Ministry officials, representatives from provincial education services  and development partners met on Monday, 23 May 2011 at a workshop entitled “Consultation and Validation of the Secondary Education Sub-Sector Action Plan” organized by the Department of Secondary Education, Ministry of Education, Lao PDR with support from UNESCO Bangkok at the Lane Xang Hotel in Vientiane, Lao PDR.  The purpose of the workshop was to gather inputs to finalise the first-ever secondary sub-sector action plan for Lao PDR.

The drafting of the secondary education sub-sector action plan is a product of UNESCO’s Capacity Development for Education for All (CapEFA) project, in which UNESCO Bangkok provides technical support and advice on secondary education policies and reforms as one of the four components of the project (the others being teacher education, non-formal education and technical/vocational education).  The finalization of this action plan is a significant undertaking given that this plan will serve as a solid foundation for the sub-sector for years to come. 

The plan itself is action-oriented, indicating the path and strategies to achieve the secondary education targets of the Education Sector Development Framework, also known as ESDF.  The plan also draws from the National Socio-Economic Development Plan for the Education Sector for 2011-2015—also known as the 7th five-year plan. The ESDF and 7th five-year plan are the two most important policies documents currently guiding educational development in Lao PDR.

The action plan addresses three key themes: access, quality and management in secondary education, in particular aiming to address the challenges faced by the sub-sector in introducing Grade 9 and 12to the system. As such, the plan provides a comprehensive guide for the actions and funding required to develop a new curriculum for the recently introduced grade levels (given that Grade 9 has become part of lower secondary in school year 2008/2009 and Grade 12 of upper secondary in school year 2010/2011); to address the challenge of teacher deployment and recruitment—particularly in rural and remote areas; and to provide adequate training for teachers and administrators.

At the workshop, participants noted, among many suggestions, to revisit the plan’s cost projections and feasibility and the need to clarify the roles of actors in particular those at the provincial, district and school levels.  The suggestions will be integrated into the final plan before its adoption.

UNESCO will continue to join the country’s efforts in reforming the secondary education sub-sector, and in particular, the government’s commitment in addressing the challenges of expanding education beyond universal primary education including improving access to quality secondary education.   

For more information, please contact Le Thu Huong (l.huong(at) or Hai Tiet (h.tiet(at)