Sayphonesomboun school helps boost education standards
Privately operated schools have played an important and helpful role in educational development in Laos since the government has been encouraging private sector investment in recent years.
As a result, privately operated schools have sprung up like mushrooms, including nursery, kindergarten, primary and upper secondary schools. This has helped to spur the development of education in Laos, one of the government's key socio-economic priorities.
Ms Phonseli Tanmixay.
One of those schools is Sayphonesomboun School in Chomphet village, Sisattanak district, Vientiane.
The school was established in 2008 with one single-storey building and a two-storey building.
To begin with, the Sayphone nursery-kindergarten-primary school had only 10 students but a few years later the school has grown in terms of buildings and pupils.
In 2011, the number of students rose to 55, then to 60 in 2012, to 99 in 2013, to 105 in 2014, to 141 in 2015, to 180 students in 2016, and now 199 children are enrolled for 2017.
The school now has 13 rooms including five used for primary school children, six for the kindergarten, and an office and library. There are 10 toilets and a kitchen and each room has air conditioning and CCTV.
“I decided to invest in building this school because I really wanted children to be able to access education so that they would have knowledge and abilities and be able to develop both intellectually and physically. More importantly, I want them to develop so they can make valuable contributions to the intellectual, fiscal and social life of the nation,” said the school's Director, Ms Khemphone Xayavong.
“If we want to improve education standards, we really ought to develop our schools to a high standard in line with the Ministry of Education and Sports' education policy,” she added.
Laos' education development strategy has evolved step by step and standards are now moving closer to international standards, although some institutions still need a lot of improvement .
In 2015, Laos had 1,802 kindergartens including 293 that were privately operated. Last academic year the number of primary schools nationwide climbed to 8,927, of which 196 were privately run, according to a report from the Ministry of Education and Sports.
In the area of vocational education, the number of vocational schools has risen to 95, of which 73 are privately owned. These schools offer four levels of qualification: primary diploma, diploma, higher diploma, and a foundation course for a bachelor degree.
With regard to tertiary education, by the academic year 2013-14 there were five universities in Laos - four run by the Ministry of Education and Sports and one by the Ministry of Health.
There are also 133 state-run colleges and 73 private colleges to augment the national university's efforts to develop human resources.
With regards to the eradication of illiteracy, about 10 provinces have reported that 100 percent of school-aged children have completed primary school and 144 districts reported that 100 percent of their populations had completed primary-equivalent education.
Since the school opened, its Deputy Director Ms Phonseli Tanmixay said, the staff have worked to develop the children in terms of their physical and intellectual growth so that they can be proud of their abilities.
In addition, teachers have concentrated on educating students in line with the Ministry of Education and Sports' curriculum and every child has passed their tests every year, she added.
Besides teaching and learning, the school leads the children in stage performances and sports, and they compete in events alongside other schools.
The school has won first and second prizes at some performing arts and sports competitions, Ms Phonseli said.
The school was recently named a “green school” and received certificates of congratulations from Vientiane and the district Education and Sports Office,
All of the teachers received welfare benefits, and outstanding, model and diligent teachers receive awards and allowances each year.
Ms Phonseli said they plan to build an upper secondary school so that current students can continue their studies at a higher level.
The new school would benefit students by teaching them new study methods in line with the government's teaching and learning curriculum.
This would help to improve their abilities and knowledge, and ultimately enable them to assist in the country's development, she said.
By Times Reporters
(Latest Update December 31, 2016)