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.

Blogs and news

Thai students smile at the camera during a school visit. Credit: Francis Peel
April 10, 2018
Participants from Nepal, Bhutan and Lao PDR share the main take-aways and useful resources of the 7th Annual School Health and Nutrition training course which took place last month in Bangkok.
Education in Laos. Credit: GPE/Stephan Bachenheimer
September 24, 2017
Officials from several Loa ministries took part in an education sector working group in Vientiane to approve steps for restructuring the second phase of a GPE project that supports the improvement of...

Latest grant

Children in a primary school in Lao PDR.

CREDIT: GPE/Stephan Bachenheimer
Development objective: Support the Government of Lao PDR in improving preprimary and primary education quality.
Grant agent:IBRD

The US$16.8 million GPE grant for the second Global Partnership for Education project was launched in October 2015, and aims to improve the quality of pre-primary and primary education in the country.

The project allocates most of the resources to the districts that have the highest female drop-out rates and also provides schools and communities with the tools needed to ensure that all children are in school and reading in the early grades.


All amounts are in US dollars.

Grant type Years Allocations Disbursements Grant agent  
Program implementation 2015-2020 16,800,000 6,669,092 IBRD Progress report
2010-2014 28,268,034 28,268,034 IBRD Progress report
Sector plan development 2014 239,520 197,459 UNICEF  
2012 249,100 246,631 IBRD  
Program development 2013 200,000 199,977 IBRD  
  TOTAL 45,756,654 35,581,193    

Education sector progress

The graphs below show overall progress in the education sector in Lao PDR. Download this PDF to view the country’s progress on 16 results framework indicators monitored by the GPE Secretariat.


Primary completion rate (%)

Lower secondary completion rate

Out-of-school rate for children of primary school age

Out-of-school rate for adolescents of lower secondary school age

Pre-primary gross enrollment rate

Gender parity index for out-of-school rate – Primary and lower secondary

Public expenditure on education as share of GDP (%)

Students/trained teacher ratio

Teachers trained (%)

Source: World Bank - Education Data
Data on education are compiled by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Institute for Statistics from official responses to surveys and from reports provided by education authorities in each country.

Last updated May 15, 2019