In the heart of Southeast Asia, Laos is facing a challenge that many developing nations share: a need to improve its education system.
To this end, Asia-Potash International, a Chinese corporation, has recently partnered with the Lao Ministry of Education and Sports to establish the country’s first-ever education fund.
With an initial disbursement of USD 700,000, the fund can become a beacon of hope for Lao teachers and students alike, according to the corporation representatives.
The fund will support educators, financially disadvantaged students in impoverished regions, as well as the training of skilled professionals in those areas. The goal is to help to address some of the most pressing challenges facing Laos’s education sector, such as teacher shortages, lack of resources, and high dropout rates.
Three key assistance programs to support education in Laos have been drafted in the Memorandum of Understanding between private and government parties involved in the project.
A Teacher Assistance Fund will help teachers in impoverished regions and those who contribute to education but do not receive a monthly salary, while a Scholarship Fund aims to support financially disadvantaged students enrolled in regular schools, colleges, or universities across the country. And a Vocational Education Fund will aid technical personnel and research projects in vocational schools.
The initial disbursement of assistance funds is focused on six provinces in the central, northern, and southern regions as pilot areas addressing the needs of 1,436 individuals, including volunteer teachers, regular-education students, vocational-education students, and university students.