Ministry of Education and Sports and Australia launch the training of trainers for the new Grade 2 curriculum
The delivery of the training was designed to ensure COVID-19 prevention measures
Since 2015, the Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES) with the support of the Australian Government and the European Union has been revising the National Primary Curriculum along with the production of new learning materials and the training of teachers. The implementation started last year with Grade 1 with a new grade following every year. The most important revision in the new curriculum is the change in teaching and learning practices. The training of the teachers is essential to ensure the success of the implementation, and ultimately improve students’ learning. On June 9th, Dr Onekeo Nouannavong, Director General of the Research Institute for Educational Sciences (RIES) and Ms. Jane Chandler, Deputy Head of Mission of the Australian Embassy in Lao PDR officially opened the “Master Trainer Training Grade 2 curriculum”. “I am very honoured to launch today the Master Trainer training on the new Grade 2 curriculum” said Dr Onekeo Nouannavong. “The objective of the new pedagogical approach is to encourage the students to be more involved and engaged in the learning activities, to develop critical thinking and problem solving and to apply their knowledge to everyday life.” “Providing well-planned, quality in-service teacher training is critical to the success of this new pedagogical approach” added Ms. Jane Chandler. “The Master Trainers Training marks the beginning of the extensive series of training needed to get all Grade 2 teachers equipped with the skills and techniques needed to implement the new curriculum and ultimately to improve student learning outcomes.” For nine days, specialists from RIES, MoES Trainers, and the Australian Aid and European Union funded BEQUAL program will train the team of 59 Master
Trainers on pedagogy, approaches and content of the new Grade 2 curriculum. On completion of the nine days, they will be able to deliver training and support to Provincial Trainers and teachers across the country. During the training the Master Trainers will be orientated on the new Grade 2 curriculum materials and have the opportunity to explore, test and reflect on different classroom activities built around active learning. Training sessions will include reflection on trainers’ delivery of Grade 1 training, overview of Grade 2 curriculum subject content, Lao language approach and teaching and learning techniques. Participants will be trained to use storybooks and decodable readers, teach multi-grade classes, and develop their own skills through continuous Professional Development tools, such as self-study modules and practising delivery of training modules. The Master Trainers will have the opportunity to watch and use the Teacher Development Videos which RIES and the Department of Teacher Education (DTE) with support from BEQUAL produced to support teachers using the new curriculum. This will provide them with the skills and knowledge they need to deliver this training to the 599 Provincial Trainers who are responsible to train the 9,843 Grade 2 teachers and 561 Pedagogical Advisors. The delivery of the training this year has been designed to comply with the requirements for the prevention of the spread of COVID-19. The Master Trainers’ training will be delivered in three separate groups to reduce the number of people in the same training room and ensure that social distancing of up to 2 metres (minimum of 1 metre) can be maintained without impacting on the quality of the training delivered.
Participants will have their temperature screened daily; face masks, hand sanitizers, hand soap and hand towels will be provided. Participants doing group work activities and moving around the room during the workshop will be instructed to maintain social distancing and wear face masks when moving around. For some of the training sessions participants will be divided into even smaller groups and use separate rooms to ensure even more social distancing. The Provincial Trainers’ training workshops, from June 22nd to July 12th, will follow the same prevention measures with 29 smaller groups across the country to limit the number of people per room and prevent extended travel. The number of Provincial Trainers to be trained was increased by 122 from 477 to 599 to have enough Provincial Trainers for the increased number of teacher training workshops due to reduced training group sizes. The dates of the training workshops were changed to align with the new timing of Semester 2 following the schools’ closure. The new dates ensure that the training of the Grade 2 teachers can start as soon as Grade 5 exams have been completed (currently scheduled to be completed 17 July 2020). All trainers will be provided with information on how to implement COVID-19 prevention measures during workshops, and the trainers will explicitly model these measures and behaviour to be replicated during the teacher trainings. As a result, teachers will understand how to apply COVID-19 prevention measures in their classrooms. The training of the 59 Master Trainers marks the beginning of the process to equip every Grade 2 teacher with the skills and techniques needed to implement the new curriculum in their classroom in September.