The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the government have signed grant and loan assistance agreements for more than 382.2 billion kip (US$64.9 million) to improve education quality and ensure graduates have sufficient skills to meet labour market demands.
The grant signing ceremony took place yesterday in Vientiane, inked by Deputy Minister of Finance Ms Thipphakone Chanthavongsa and Officer-in-Charge of ADB Lao Resident Mission Mr Steven Schipani.
Deputy Minister of Education and Sports Associate Prof. Dr Kongsy Sengmany and officials from other government agencies also attended the signing ceremony.
Mr Schipani said these projects were important elements of the Ministry of Education and Sports’ wider reform programme to improve the quality and relevance of higher education and vocational training.
They will help to ensure that graduates have the necessary skills to participate in an increasingly demanding workforce, with a strong focus on widening access to education and training for poor and disadvantaged students, he said.
The project focuses on improving Laos’ higher education system and technical and vocational education and training (TVET) programme to produce graduates with job-ready skills.
Grant and loan assistance of US$39.9 million for the Second Strengthening Higher Education Project will reinforce the links between higher education services and socioeconomic needs by improving education quality, enhancing access to higher education programmes, and strengthening governance and management of higher education institutions.
The project will also support government efforts to meet demand for higher-level skills, particularly in the growing manufacturing and service sectors as Laos moves away from an agriculture-based economy.
The US$25 million grant for the Second Strengthening Technical and Vocational Education and Training Project will help realign TVET programmes with current labour market needs.
The project will continue to strengthen TVET programmes by upgrading teaching and learning environments at eight target vocational colleges, and strengthening teacher competencies to deliver high-value skills training.
It will also improve college management and engage private enterprises to ensure that training is tailored to local industry’s needs. Poor and disadvantaged students will be provided with stipends and dormitory spaces at colleges.
Source: Vientiane Times