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Post Info TOPIC: Teacher shortage is now a big problem in Laos !

Teacher shortage is now a big problem in Laos !

Ministry to address teacher shortage

The Ministry of Education announced plans yesterday to conduct two specialist teacher training programmes next summer, to train more teachers and meet the needs of education reforms to be implemented in 2010.

Director General of the ministry's Teacher Training Department, Professor Dr Mithong Souvanvixay, said the programmes will run during the summer holiday from June to September, at Ban Keun Teacher Training College in Vientiane province, and Khangkhai Teacher Training College in Xieng Khuang province.

The ministry held the first of the new teacher training courses in Luang Prabang, Savannakhet and Champassak provinces last year. Over 300 student teachers attended the three month teaching extension programme. The course is open to all teachers or student teachers who have completed their basic teacher training at the 11+3 level (secondary school leavers who have spent three years at a teacher training college).

Dr Mithong said that the summer programme aims to prepare teachers who will fill positions that will open in schools nationwide in 2010, when the ministry officially extends lower secondary school education from three to four years, in accordance with a new education reform strategic plan.

“If our schools are to teach students for an extra year, we will have to provide the extra teachers,” he said.

Approximately 300 new teachers will need to sign up to the teaching extension programme each year until the changes are implemented, if the teaching demands of four year lower secondary schools are to be met.

The teachers will need to spend about three months during their summer break each year attending the training. Once they have completed nine months of study, they will receive their bachelor teaching degree and can then go on to teach at upper or lower secondary school level, he explained.

Many new teachers are also required in kindergarten and upper secondary schools, particularly in provincial and rural areas. Although the number of teachers entering the field is greater than in previous years, compared to actual needs they remain inadequate, said Dr Mithong.

This year 3,050 teachers were provided by government quota, an increase from last year, when 2,900 teachers were provided.

He pointed out that there were many provinces that are in dire need of teachers this year, including Phongsaly, Huaphan, Bokeo, Luang Namtha, Vientiane province, Saravan and Attapeu. So far, only half of the number requested of the ministry has been provided.

Dr Mithong explained that each year the number of teachers required across the country at all school levels averages 6,000 to 7,000, but only half or even less were provided by the government. This problem is heightened by the many student teachers who do not enter the profession after training, especially in rural areas.

“ Every year almost 4,000 student teachers complete their studies but don't take up teaching positions,” he added.

After graduating from teacher training schools, many apply for positions in different fields, especially those whose studies included foreign languages. Teachers of mathematics, physics, chemistry and biology also apply for, and are highly sought after in other positions.

Laos currently has around 56,000 teachers, but an estimated 65,000 are necessary to adequately meet the needs of the country.

It is hoped that 6,000 to 7,000 new teachers each year will join the nation's schools and help shape the minds of the younger generation.

By Soulivan Vongmany



Yes, it is understandable why this problem has happened. Imagine! after universities study, who would want to go back to rural area, and do farmer jobs and teach at the same time?

Their parents also don't want either. They spent money a lot for their children to finish universities in hoping that their children would be in the best position and can earn money enough for their lives and help family back. Surely, if their children go back to teach, the hope would be a dream for them, no doubt.
I always keep thinking that why our government authorities don't think about this, ask themselves if they would go for such jobs, teaching in rural areas? The answer is certain, "NO". 

That's why, there the incentive needs to be provided, though expensive.  



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