The Government of Lao PDR has placed priority on building its human resource capacity to address existing skills gaps to sustain social development and economic growth and support new enterprise. Basic education is the flagship of Australia’s development cooperation partnership with the Lao PDR.
Australia is the largest bilateral donor to basic education in Lao PDR. We deliver our support in partnership with the Lao Government, multilateral development agencies and other donors to build schools, train teachers, strengthen school management, provide learning resources and provide school-based meals. Our investments are helping to strengthen national-level management of the education system through the development and implementation of the Education Sector Development Plan 2016-20 governing the efficient and effective allocation of resources. Australia contributes to sector policy dialogue and aid coordination by co-chairing the Education Sector Working Group, and providing advisory support to the Lao Ministry of Education and Sports. Australia’s engagement and investment in basic education aim to ensure that high net enrolment rates are sustained, primary school completion rates improve and more students, especially the disadvantaged, are numerate, literate and have the life skills to lead productive lives.
Australia will increase the proportion of the program devoted to basic education over the life of our new aid investment plan.
Read the Australia-Laos Education Delivery Strategy 2013-18
Basic Education Quality and Access in Laos (BEQUAL) Program
$65 million, 2014-2019
Australia’s flagship investment in the education sector, the Basic Education Quality and Access in Laos (BEQUAL) program, will be delivered in 66 of the most educationally disadvantaged districts in Laos. It aims to increase student participation, improve learning facilities and resources and improve teacher quality. BEQUAL will assist an estimated 450,000 children stay in school, with a particular focus on those that traditionally experience poorer education outcomes —girls, students with disabilities and children from ethnic minority groups. Teachers and teacher training institutions will be assisted to improve the quality of the education they delivery, including through training 520 people (360 women) from ethnic minority groups to become teachers in their communities. School meals will be provided in districts that experience food scarcity to increase primary school enrolment and attendance. Teaching and learning environments will be improved through provision of water and sanitation facilities and school construction or rehabilitation.