In total, over 856,000 Grade 1 textbooks and 9,000 Grade 1 teacher resource packs have been successfully delivered to all 148 districts across the Lao PDR.
Each District Education and Sports Bureaus (DESB) will now organize the distribution of the textbooks and the teacher resource packs to every public primary school before school starts on the 1st of September. Every DESB will ensure that primary school principals and Grade 1 teachers are advised to collect materials from the districts. The schools can use their school block grant funds to enable the pick up or delivery of the materials.
Each Grade 1 public student will receive a free set of four textbooks, two for Lao Language, one for Moral Education and one for Sciences and Environment. The new textbooks use colour and plenty of visuals,
Each school with Grade 1 classes will receive a resource pack with educational materials such as storybooks, age appropriate readers, alphabet flash cards, posters and magnifying rulers to be used in classroom activities, to support Lao literacy lessons and literacy development for young readers.
All materials were tested in pilot schools around the country and improved with feedback from the trials.
A special feature of the new curriculum is the orientation week. During the first week of school, all Grade 1 students will follow a programme of activities to help them feel familiar with school life and build their confidence in key routines, behaviours and skills needed in school.
This orientation week will help ensure children find school an interesting and enjoyable experience and is known to have a positive impact on learning outcomes. It is essential that the materials reach the school before the start of the new school year so that the Grade 1 students will be able start the orientation week with the new curriculum. The Ministry of Education and Sports will launch a radio campaign in August to instruct every public school to collect their materials.
The Ministry of Education and Sports received the support of the Australian Government, the European Union and the United States Agency for International Development through the BEQUAL programme to develop and deliver the new teaching and learning Grade 1 materials for every primary public school across the country.