We are pleased to hear about the new curriculum. Besides our volunteers volunteering abroad at our projects in Laos in extracurricular activities, now also the local official curriculum gets improved. This will only benefit the local children. Together we can build a future. (more below)
Since 2015, the Ministry of Education and Sports (MOES) has been in the process of revising the country’s national curriculum and developing new textbooks, teacher guides and other resources for primary schools.
The new primary curriculum will gradually be put into effect starting with Grade 1 in September of 2019.
It will be a national curriculum, which means that every primary school in every district in every province of Laos will receive the revised teaching and learning materials.
There will be one textbook per student (over 800,000 primary students around the country). The new textbooks are in color and employ plenty of visuals, to increase attention and augment student retention. Teachers (over 35,000 primary school teachers) will receive guides for all subjects taught.
The new teacher guides are more detailed and contain guidance on how to organize each lesson and suggestions for using local knowledge, creating extension activities, working with multi-grade classes or teaching non-Lao first language-speaking students.
Primary schools will receive a resource pack with educational materials, such as story books, reading books for beginners or flash cards to support the utilization of the revised curriculum.
All materials were tested in pilot schools around the country and improved with feedback from the trials.
Nine subjects will be taught in primary: Lao language, mathematics, science and environment (formerly known as “world around us”), morals, arts and handicrafts, music, physical education, English from Grade 3 on and social studies starting from grade 4.
The new curriculum will be organized thematically. This new organization is designed to increase integration and opportunities to revise key learning. The themes in each subject are taught at the same time in each grade, and this will help multigrade teachers with planning and delivery of lessons.
A special feature of the new curriculum is: orientation week. During the first week of school, all Grade 1 students will follow a program of activities to help them feel familiar with school life and build their confidence in key routines, behaviors and skills needed in school. Orientation week will help ensure students find school an interesting and enjoyable experience and is known to have a positive impact on learning outcomes.
With the objective to improve student learning outcomes, the development of the new curriculum was informed by child learning theory and established principles of effective primary school pedagogic practice.
Hence, one of the main changes with the new curriculum will be in the pedagogy approach. The new curriculum promotes active learning. The students will be engaged in lessons by doing activities to encourage them to process new information and apply new knowledge learned.
The teachers will be facilitators rather than one-way providers of information. Students will learn by doing meaningful learning activities and by reflecting about what they are doing.
“Today, we acquainted ourselves with the new primary curriculum development with related contents of teaching materials. Certainly, when we have a new curriculum and instructional materials we want our teachers who are playing a key role in the implementation of curriculum at the grassroots level to be familiar with both contents and methodology of teaching,” said Associate Professor Sisavanh.
“Developing a primary curriculum is the first step to improve student learning outcomes. But the second step, the development of good quality teacher training and support is essential to ensure that teachers can successfully implement the curriculum,” said Andreas Zurbrugg. “Australia, the European Union and USAID are proud to be partnering with the Research Institute for Educational Sciences and the Ministry of Education and Sports to support the development of the new curriculum and its rollout.”
Teacher training and support is essential to ensure that teachers can successfully implement the new curriculum. It is teachers who bring the curriculum to life in the classroom and they are crucial to the success of a curriculum innovation.
In-service teacher training modules will be developed based on the revised primary curriculum content and teaching methodology.
The rollout of the new curriculum is a huge task which will need the commitment and support of all stakeholders, from national, provincial, district and school levels. But the new national curriculum and associated teaching and learning resources will make an important contribution to the quality of the learning outcomes of children.
It will help more Lao girls and boys of primary school-age achieve functional literacy and numeracy and acquire life skills.
Source: Laotian Times
Volunteering abroad with Let Laos Learn is genuine
Lately we get a lot of questions from possible volunteers what distinguishes us from other organizations and why they should volunteer abroad in our projects.
We have a proven impact in our projects with over 1,300 children that already followed official eduation at one of our schools and we already taught English to over 3,000 children in different schools.
Thanks to our proven results we are also recognized by the Lao Department of Foreign Affairs, meaning volunteering is legal in our projects and not something we do for fun (although volunteering is fun).
We also have a strong team of volunteers in other countries believing in our projects. They are constantly fundraising to build more schools in Laos. It is a great collaboration of volunteers in Laos and other countries building a future together for the Lao children. We are in constant dialogue with the local people so you can be sure that we work bottom-up.
✔ Direct volunteering - We are not an intermediate organization, you volunteer directly at our own initiated and supported projects.
✔ Affordable - Thanks to volunteering directly with us and renting our own volunteer house we are able to keep costs low.
✔ Great support - Our volunteer coordinator has over 10 years of volunteering experience in Laos and even speaks Lao.
✔ Experience - We hosted over 350 volunteers.
✔ Impact - We provided school infrastructure in which over 1200 children already attented classes, come and see them with your own eyes.
✔ Make new friends - Our volunteers come from all over the world, this is your change to expand your network and make friends for life.
✔ Experience a new culture - With LLL we find it very important to teach our volunteers about the Lao culture, our team takes you to weddings, village festivities, ...
✔ Great support - Our volunteer coordinator has over 10 years of volunteering experience in Laos and even speaks Lao and our local team cooperated with over 350.
✔ INGO - We are recognized by the local authorities, this proves our commitment towards the local people and gives us the opportunity to provide long term visas.
Since a couple of months FruitFriends is in a transition to change into Let Laos Learn. This had led to an increase in the number of volunteers which provided continuity in our English classes. Thanks in part to this continuity and our financial support in school construction, LLL is officially recognized as INGO by the authorities in Laos. This is a big achievement thanks to our strong team in Laos but also in Belgium (where our main office is based). Since this change we also have a LLL volunteer coordinator in field operating next to our local coordinator Sai.
What are the new benefits for our volunteers in Laos:
✔ Lower housing costs which you also pay on site, so you are sure 100% makes it to Laos.
✔ Members and returning volunteers do not pay any reservation or administration fees.
✔ 100% transparency.
✔ Possibility for a long term visa (3; 6; 9 & 12 months) at lower cost than a monthly tourist visa.
✔ Experienced volunteer coordinators speaking Lao and understanding the culture.
We ask all previous volunteers at FruitFriends to contact us, you also can obtain lifelong membership thanks to your support in the past. With LLL we look at you as part of the family and family is very important in Laos. It would be a great help to spread the word in your network to convince them also to become part of our great LLL family. If you want more information about our changes have a look at our website or send us an email.
Thanks to a lot of fundraising we started with the construction of our own training center where new projects will be initiated. For this youth/training center we hired our first intern Tamor to become the center’s director.
Soon we will start with the construction of our own homework and studycenter which we want to open in the middle of this year. We will be able to organize our own activities from English classes to playing activities for children at this center. The fund to build this center is already collected by our great fundraising team. But we are looking for fund to cover the annual operation costs, this cost is around 6,000 USD and will cover the wage of our local director, electricity, maintenance, ....
Besides for fund we also are looking for motivated volunteers to volunteer abroad at this center in Laos.
Design: Our center will contain a small office, 2 classrooms, a bigger multifunctional room and all necessary sanitation
1. It looks great on your CV: If you’ve just left school or college and you’re looking for something impressive to add to your CV, volunteering abroad is the perfect choice! Employers will like to see that you’ve brave enough to visit another country and take part in an organised programme.
2. You’ll meet amazing new friends: The great thing about choosing a volunteering, is that you’ll meet loads of likeminded people who you’re bound to get on with really well. You’ll spend such a concentrated amount of time with these people, that the chances are they will remain your friends for life.
3. You can get a chance to live in a country you’ve never lived in : Do it while you can! Perhaps Laos is the country that you’ve always thought you would love to visit, or even live there! Embrace the freedom of this choice, and enjoy it!
4. You can learn a new skill: While you are there volunteering, you live in a local community, in a shared house with other volunteers. This is the perfect opportunity to learn a new skill from those around you! Perhaps there is an excellent chef amongst you so you can learn to cook, perhaps someone around speaks another language you can learn from, or perhaps you can learn how to do something more practical like how to cut a coconut from a tree or tell which plants are poisonous to eat. The world is your oyster when you’re volunteering, literally!
5. So you can learn how another culture lives: If you stop to take the time to pay attention to the others around you, you’ll learn a huge depth of knowledge about how others live. Everything from what they eat in the morning, how they get to work, what they do for fun and what working in Laos is.
6. Immerse yourself in a different world: Try things you’ve never tried before, say yes to everything and truly immerse yourself in your travelling experience to make sure you get the most out of the trip. Try new foods and listen to traditional music. Ask questions to show an interest and talk to as many different people as you can, you each have a lot you could learn from each other!
7. Teach yourself to cook a new type of cuisine: A fun challenge to set yourself is to master a new type of cuisine when you’re out on your trip. Get in the kitchen and give it a go for yourself, you might be pleasantly surprised!
8. Make a difference in a child’s life : You can help shape a child’s life by teaching them new skills and giving them support. It can be so amazing for a child to meet a person from another country who has come over to help them. This can stay with them for a long time, so be that person to make their life fantastic.
9. Get away from your home town: How many summers have you had in your hometown or city? A lot, we bet! However much you may love home, spending a summer volunteering abroad will not only give you new experiences and teach you new things, but it will also make you appreciate home so much more when you return. It’s a win-win!
10. Do something different: Even if you have made a plan on what you’re going to do next in life, for example the job you’re aiming for or the place you want to live, volunteering abroad can be your opportunity to do something completely different.
11. Help to make a difference in a community: Your work can help make a difference in a community, for example helping to build a school or teaching English for the local children.
12. Meet new people: In a volunteering atmosphere, you’ll not only get to make new friends whith similar interests, you’ll also meet some completely different characters too. This is what adds to the fun of the experience! You might meet people from completely different walks of life, and you’ll be able to learn so much from them just by talking.
13. Make amazing new memories: Volunteering in Laos will allow you to create some of the best memories of your life. You’ll be doing new things with new people, in a completely new place! Volunteering abroad is an experience you’ll truly never forget.
14. See things from a more open-minded perspective: Getting out in the world is an amazing way to open up your eyes and see things from a new perspective. It’s very easy to get lost in the town or city you live in, and forget that the world is a big place with lots of different people and atmospheres you can learn to love. Travelling and volunteering is one of the most valuable things you can do, and can make you more open to new ideas and values. You’ll never regret it!
15. It’s so much fun: Volunteering abroad is so much fun. You’ll rarely speak to anyone who has an experience that they don’t enjoy.