Delivering Inclusive Education and Building Local Teaching Capabilities in Lao PDR
Tetra Tech is working in Lao PDR to support the delivery of quality and inclusive education and build local teaching capabilities.
The Lao PDR education system faces ongoing challenges around primary school students performing at a critically low level. Primary school learning outcomes must be improved to form the foundation for broader social wellbeing and the development of a skilled workforce. These two factors are vital to achieving national socioeconomic development targets. However, limited institutional and human resource capacity, substantial fiscal constraints, the COVID-19 pandemic, and socioeconomic, ethnicity, and gender inequity exacerbate development challenges, impacting school attendance levels for educators and students.
“The program … provided additional support to the Ministry to address COVID-19 challenges, such as supporting the development of TV teaching programs to reach teachers and children out of school during lockdowns.”– Sounisa Sundara, Australia Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Tetra Tech is implementing the Basic Education Quality and Access in Lao PDR (BEQUAL) project on behalf of the Australian government to help children, particularly those who traditionally experience poorer educational outcomes—such as girls, students with disabilities, and children from remote communities—receive a quality basic education. BEQUAL supports the Laos Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES) and schools across Laos to develop and improve education policy, planning, and implementation, as well as school infrastructure. The project focuses on increasing child participation in education, improving curriculum, building teacher skills, and delivering educator scholarships and training. Specifically, BEQUAL is:
- Supporting the MoES to develop and deliver an improved, inclusive primary curriculum for grades one to five
- Reforming teacher training to align with the new primary curriculum
- Developing virtual teacher training tools like TV teaching and supporting curriculum development via YouTube
- Training educators and MoES staff in basic Lao Sign Language skills to enrich the experience of children with hearing impairments
- Supporting the provision of school meals in disadvantaged districts
BEQUAL applies an integrated gender equality, disability, and social inclusion (GEDSI) approach to improve education outcomes for students, especially those who are disadvantaged. As part of the national primary curriculum improvements, the project is creating a GEDSI assessment tool to support inclusive representation of diverse peoples in curriculum and program materials. Further, the team is promoting gender-inclusive and accessible learning materials for all citizens. This includes subtitled content as well as video and imagery that address gender stereotypes. In addition, BEQUAL is supporting 520 people from ethnic minority groups who are undertaking training to become teachers, increasing the diversity of Lao’s educators and enhancing the quality of inclusive education for children.