By Phaisythong Chandara
January 22, 2012
Deputy Minister of Education and Sports Associate Professor Dr Kongsy Sengmany yesterday urged all education officials and involved sectors to work together to execute the second phase of education reform (2011-2015).
Dr Kongsy made the recommendation at the 6th Meeting of the National Committee on Education Reform held in Vientiane.
The meeting began with a brief review of progress under the first phase of education reform (2006-2010), and then introduced plans through which to achieve the second phase.
The aim of the meeting was to formulate a strategic plan for the development of higher education between now and 2015, involving the improvement of the national education system, development of human and socio-economic resources, and provision of equal opportunities for marginalised groups.
Major goals include outlining an education development framework, planning for the improvement and expansion of higher education institutes, and setting a budget for higher education development until 2015.
Dr Kongsy noted that education in Laos has improved in recent years, making progress in terms of both quantity and quality.
“However, the education sector as a whole does not yet meet the country’s human resource development needs for modernising and industrialising the country,” he said.
The education system must produce skilled personnel capable of developing economic infrastructure, science and technology in order to create an industrialised country.
The concerned sectors need to improve their capacity to develop the country by investing in education.
The higher education development plan must coincide with the overall socio-economic development plan, human resource development plan and the education reform plan, to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and ensure Laos graduates from its least developed country status by 2020.
The plan must also match the needs of the labour markets in the public and private sectors in terms of both quantity and quality.
To achieve these goals, the vocational training and higher education sector needs to improve the capacity of technical staff, researchers and scientists in order to prepare for integration with the Asean Community in 2015.
Dr Kongsy said the plan also includes expanding access to schools in isolated and mountainous areas, and training administrators, managers and teachers from different areas.
The ministry has prioritised the expansion of education in remote, rural areas, where many ethnic groups live, aimed at helping them to have better access to education opportunities.
“If all sectors can fulfill these goals we will achieve the goals by 2015 in line with the national socio-economic development plan,” Dr Kongsy said.