4. Universal Access to Quality Education

Laos 144- Universal Access to Quality Education

Paragraph 131: The Government has placed significant importance on human resources development and has allocated increased budget to education and sports which covers 17% of the total government expenditures to improve and develop education infrastructure and improve teaching-learning from Five Year National Socio-Economic Development Plan III (2016-2020) nursery, kindergarten, and primary school to university.

However, the budget allocation to the sector is still below NA commitment (never reached 17%).

FY2010/11 FY2011/12 FY2012/13 FY2013/14 2014/15
Educationshare of total state budget 13.24 13.6 14.5 15 13.5 (plan)

On page 51, section 5.5.2 MDG 2, there is an inconsistency between data presented in the texts and in the tables for MDG 2, 3 & 5.

Comments on targets of education sector:

We welcome specific outcome and targets (outcome 2) for health and education sectors and the efforts to ensure equity among different social groups and geographical locations. Attention has been given to achieve LDC graduation criteria and some off- track MDGs.

Some targets will lead to rapid system expansion, which require more human and financial resources to the sector. For instance: increase enrolment of pre-school and secondary education will require extra teachers and classrooms. It is important to get the targets right and ensure that there is appropriate funding and resources. Therefore, expenditure targets should also be included to ensure the achievement of the targets.

There are specific targets for basic education and some indicators actually reflect the challenges of basic education for instance target for primary survival rate is now set at

90% which is lower than the MDG2 target (95% by 2015). But even the 90% target will be difficult to achieve unless grade one drop out is reduced (G1 dropout rate has never below 10% in the last five years and 2% average increase/year for survival rate).

 Low primary survival rate:

2010/11 2011/12 2012/13 2013/14
Primary Survivalrate 70% 71.3% 73.3% 74.4%

Low primary survival rate will create a major obstacle in achieving the targets of secondary and vocational education, which may have negative impact on LDC graduation.

A more explicit link to skilled labour in vocational education could be made and quality outcome targets for TVET should be introduced.

There is a need to also set targets for higher education and teacher education (particularly for teacher education as quality teaching will contribute significantly to improve student learning outcomes).

There is no specific reference made on gender issues and equal opportunities for education at all level.

More EU comments have been transmitted in the document prepared by the development partners’ members of the Education Sector Working Group.

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