Education in Lao PDR
The government of Lao PDR recognizes education’s importance in achieving national development goals. The country relies heavily on external funding; however, it has shown improvements in recent years. According to government figures, in 2013/14, the education share of the government budget was 15.5%, up from 13.4% in 2009/10.
The country has made significant progress, achieving 98.6% primary net enrollment and a gender parity rate of .99 for primary education. The major challenges that the education system faces are: reducing the high grade 1 dropout rate, enhancing equity, and improving learning outcomes.
The ESDP 2016-2020 has set the following areas of focus:
- Achieve compulsory primary education and expand compulsory education to include lower secondary education
- Eradicate illiteracy, across all ethnic groups, by supporting relevant lifelong learning
- Expand, strengthen, and promote secondary education, technical and vocational education and training, and higher education to respond to future demands of the labor market and improve economic outputs
- Improve the responsiveness of the technical vocational education and training system
- Ensure that graduates have competence to enter the workforce through improving the quality of higher education and technical vocation
- Ensure that technical, professional, and academics have knowledge and are capable of using modern technology and science
- Improve quality and relevance of education to provide youth with the knowledge needed for socio-economic development
- Apply ICT as the tools for improving education administration and management and education quality
- Expand education policy research and evaluation from the central to local level
- Expand physical education and sports from central to local level.