Lao employees who are to operate the Laos-China Railway have begun an intensive Chinese language course at the Confucious Institute of the National University of Laos.
The Laos-China Railway Co., Ltd. (LCRC), a joint venture headquartered in Vientiane responsible for the building and maintenance of the railway, held an initiation ceremony for the intensive Chinese language learning class for the first group of trainees for the railway service at the institute on Tuesday.
At the ceremony, Jiang Shuming, an official with the LCRC, introduced the recruitment and training process, saying that since 27 February, when the company started recruiting Lao trainees for the railway operation, the company selected the first 248 trainees for training, including Chinese language training, professional railway theory, and on-site practical training in Kunming.
The intensive Chinese language class will last for ten weeks at the Confucius Institute.
After graduating from the course, the Lao trainees will go on to become railway employees in positions such as train drivers, dispatchers, locomotive, and equipment maintenance personnel.
Mr. Saykham Phanthavong, Deputy Director-General of the Department of Vocational Education under the Ministry of Education and Sports, shared his sincere appreciation to the LCRC for the recruitment and education of the Lao railway personnel, hoping that the trainees would become the mainstay of the country’s railway development.
While Laos lacks firsthand railway experience, the Chinese partnership provides a unique opportunity for Lao workers to gain knowledge and experience from one of the world’s leading nations in terms of railway network operation.
Mr. Xiao Qianwen, General Manager of the LCRC, was quoted by Xinhua as saying that construction of the Laos-China Railway is progressing well, with 90 percent of the civil engineering now complete.
The company will shift its focus from construction to operation at the end of this year.
Railway tracks were laid through a tunnel along the Laos-China Railway for the first time last month, marking a historic achievement for the project.
The Laos-China Railway will run some 414 kilometers, including 198km of tunnels, and will traverse 62km of bridges. It will run from the Boten border gate, connecting Northern Laos to China, down to Vientiane Capital, with an operating speed of 160km per hour.