122 local student teachers just completed their studies at Teacher Training Colleges. They will join the 209 local teachers who graduated last year and are already deployed and teaching in their remote communities!

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Between 4 and 5 July, the second cohort of 122 student teachers from remote communities -73 women and 39 men -who benefited from scholarships and support provided by BEQUAL successfully completed their study in three teacher training colleges – Luang Namtha, Savannakhet and Salavan. They will each be deployed to their remote communities.

The handover ceremony at Luang Namtha Teacher Training College took place on 04 July. It was chaired by Mr. Keth Phanlak, Director General of Department of Teacher Education, co-chaired by Ms. Katie Smith, Acting Deputy Head of Mission, Australian Embassy in Lao PDR and Mr. Khamsouk Thongkan, the Director of Luang Namtha Teacher Training College.

The handover ceremony at Savannakhet were help on 05 July and the ceremony was chaired by Mr. Khambai Khamsy, the Deputy Director General of Department of Teacher Education, Mr. Latsamy Phaxaysy, the Director of Savannakhet Teacher Training College, Mr. Thavone Insyxiengmai, the Deputy Director of Savannakhet Provincial Education and Sports Services and Mr. Nanthaxay Inthasone,

the Deputy Director of khammuan Provincial Education and Sports and Salavan Teacher Training Colleges were held the same day on 05 July and the ceremony was chaired by Mr. Silisack Thanomhuk, The Director of Salavan Teacher Training College, Mr. Sudone Vongsavath, the Deputy Director of Salavan Teacher Training Colleage and Mr. Somphai Sengvilaisak, the Head of Pre-service Division, respectively.

BEQUAL is led by the Ministry of Education and Sports with support from the Australian Government and the European Union and supporting the education priorities of the Government of Lao PDR. The objective of this program to support student teachers from remote communities to improve the learning outcomes in educationally disadvantaged areas by training student teachers from remote rural villages to become future teachers back in their communities.

 Local teachers are contributing to better learning results of primary school children in remote communities, especially ethnic communities.

They understand the language and the culture of their students which is critical for the first years of schooling and Lao language acquisition.

In Lao PDR,  a country with nearly 50 different official ethnic groups, many children in remote villages may not have  been exposed to Lao language when they start school. Nobody is better placed than local teachers to provide a language bridge and help the children to speak, read and write Lao better and faster as well as learning to  count well – skills that are essential in today’s world to gain meaningful employment or run a business. Moreover, local teachers are more likely to remain in the village and local female teachers will be a role model for girls in their own communities.

Watch the video to hear the inspiring story of Miss Boualy Keovilay and Mr. Sokhong, who just graduated at the Luang Namtha Teacher Training College here