August 2017

Towards a Lifelong Learning Policy in Laos

Participants of the High-Level Workshop in Vientiane

A Prime Minister’s Decree will, for the first time, provide a legal framework for the implementation of a lifelong learning approach in the Lao education system.

More than 60 participants from line ministries, departments of the Ministry of Education and Sports and various other stakeholders attended a High-Level Workshop in Vientiane on August 9 to prepare the Prime Minister’s Decree on Lifelong Learning Policy. The workshop was hosted by the Ministry of Education and Sports and the regional office of DVV International in Laos.

The Decree will, for the first time, provide a legal framework for the implementation of a lifelong learning approach in the Lao education system. Since 2011, DVV International has been supporting the Ministry of Education and Sports in developing a draft concept. In 2016, DVV International and UNESCO invited Dr Zenaida Domingo – an education specialist from the Philippines – to Laos, where she worked for three months with the colleagues in the Department of Non-Formal Education to finalise the draft.

In her opening remarks, Ms Sengdeuane Lachanthaboune, Minister of Education and Sports, stressed the importance of this decree for the further development of the education system in the country. Mr Ichiro Miyazawa from UNESCO Bangkok explained the concept of lifelong learning as a guiding principle for all constituencies involved. For example, primary and secondary schools should be responsible for teaching children how to learn independently, and new pathways should make the transfer between formal and non-formal education easier.

In his presentation, Mr Le Huy lam, Director of the SEAMEO Centre for Lifelong Learning from Ho Chi Minh City, shared some experiences and success stories from Vietnam, where the government is putting a lot of effort into the building of a learning society. It is seen as a joint project which includes various ministries, large organisations, the media and other actors, as well as all levels of the administration, from the national to the community level.

The Lao Ministry of Education and Sports expects the new Decree to be approved by the end of 2018.

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