BEQUAL is supporting the Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES) to develop a renewed and improved primary curriculum and teaching and learning materials that are more gender sensitive and inclusive of disadvantaged groups. The approach is knowledge-based and student-centred. The curriculum renewal and development of associated textbooks and teachers guides are led by the Research Institute of Educational Science (RIES) with technical assistance from BEQUAL.
There are several development partners supporting the Ministry in teaching and learning materials for primary education. It remains important that these efforts are coordinated and each contribute to the achievement of MoES objectives as outlined in the five year plan ESDP (2016-20).
- Support to renewal of the primary curriculum framework and subject curricula, including the identification and the capacity building of the curriculum writers.
- When revised, the production, printing and distribution of primary textbooks and teacher guides. The 9,000 primary schools in Lao PDR will receive one set of four subject textbooks for all 880,000 primary students nationwide. Teachers will receive teacher guides for all subjects taught in primary education.
- Creation of Teacher Resource Packs for use in the classroom including simple commercially available resource materials such as teaching and learning aids posters, and storybooks. Those packs will be provided to all primary schools targeted to their needs.
- Development and distribution of training materials linked to the revised curriculum so all teacher educators and primary teachers are using the revised primary level materials.
BEQUAL staff have started to work with RIES and relevant MoES departments to develop a long-term plan for revision of the primary curriculum framework and development of teaching and learning materials. During year 1 of the program, a final draft of the primary curriculum was completed and approved for 9 subjects; technical assistance was provided to support the development of the Lao language curriculum; and a first set of materials for a pilot of Grade 1 textbooks and teacher guides was produced ready for trial. Year 1 laid the foundation for activities in the development and production of a renewed primary curriculum and the production and distribution of supporting textbooks and teacher guides over the next three years.
In year 2, grade 1 textbooks and teacher guides are scheduled to be finalised, printed and distributed to primary school students and teachers, with teachers trained to use them. The revision of primary curriculum, textbooks and teacher guides for all subjects in primary Grades 1-5 will occur between 2015 and 2022.