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Post Info TOPIC: Laos school years will rise from 11 to 12 !!!

Laos school years will rise from 11 to 12 !!!

By 2010 all children will be required to spend 12 years in school, the Deputy Minister of Education, Mr Lytou Bouapao, said yesterday.

This is an increase from the current 11 years that children spend in school. In the future, students at lower secondary school will study for four years instead of three, after changes to the education system are made in the next two academic years.

“We are now more than half way through the development of the new teaching and learning curriculum,” said the Director General of the General Education Department, Mr Khamhoung Sacklokham.

Originally the ministry planned to start the new four-year curriculum at the start of the academic year on September 1, 2008, but the preparations are not ready yet, Mr Khamhoung said.

At present the education system is based on a 5+3+3 system, comprising 5 years of compulsory primary school education, 3 years of lower secondary school education, and 3 years of upper secondary school education.

Laos offers 11 years of study, whereas the education system in some Asean member countries comprises 12 years of study.

An official from the General Education Department, Mr Vilath Oudomsouk told the Vientiane Times that some Asean countries used a system based on the 6+3+3 model.

In drafting improvements to the education system in Laos , the Ministry of Education initially planned to lengthen primary education to six years, but later cancelled this plan.

The new plan would introduce a 5+4+3 model, to mirror the education systems of other Asean countries, he said.

Although Laos has 3,760 primary schools, many in the remoter areas lack teachers, making the early plans to move to a 6+3+3 model impossible, Mr Vilath said.

There are, however, currently 611 upper secondary schools in the country, and with a greater number of available teachers, this means the changes proposed to the education system can be made at this level.

This latest strategy adopted by the ministry is in support of the Lao government's strategic plan for poverty reduction, aimed at raising Laos from least-developed country status by 2020.

The ministry also plans to extend primary school facilities throughout the country, to keep more children in school, Mr Vilath said.

The ministry plans to have 96 percent of children aged 6-11 enrolled in school by the academic year 2010-11. Currently only 82 percent of children in this age group attend school.

Many children are not attending or remaining in school, especially those in the more remote areas of the country.

The ministry plans for all children aged 6 to 11 to attend school by 2015-16.

By Khonesavanh Latsaphao

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