Laos wants teachers, students to boost English, IT skills
February 24, 2014 00:00 By Phaisythong Chandara
IIG Education signs agreement with ministry to launch new campaign
The Laotian Ministry of Education and Sports and IIG Education are working together to boost English-language proficiency and information-technology skills among teachers and students to international standards.
An agreement to this effect was reached in Vientiane yesterday. The memorandum of understanding on cooperation in English and IT was signed by Deputy Minister of Education and Sports Assoc Prof Dr Kongsy Sengmany and IIG president Doan Hong Nam.
Under the agreement, the Ministry of Education and Sports will recognise TOEFL primary for use in the current English proficiency assessment system for primary school students in Laos.
The ministry will also approve TOEFL junior for use among lower secondary students, and TOEFL iBT or TOEIC for assessing English proficiency of higher school students aiming for admission to foreign or local educational programmes.
In addition, TOEIC will be used as a tool for assessing English proficiency and the educational capacity of English teachers in Laos. It will be employed as a standard for measuring and improving the quality of education and training for college and vocational schools.
The ministry will also gradually apply the English Discoveries Online programme in order to boost students’ English skills and improve the teaching method in schools.
Sanako laboratory learning software will be trialled at a number of advanced schools in Laos for better interaction between teachers and students, as well as the quality of English tuition,
In turn, IIG Education Laos will organise training programmes and issue Certificates of Teaching class IC3 – a recognised graduation benchmark for college and vocational students – and also MOS (Microsoft Office Specialist). In the coming years, the ministry will gradually have all its teachers certified for IC3.
According to a statement from IIG, a series of annual English language and computer literacy contests will be organised by the ministry and IIG Education Laos to encourage and nurture talent in the English language and IT education in Laos.
The use of the TOEFL test will allow accurate assessment of English language proficiency and outline a clear guide for students’ further education. MOS contests will also be held annually to select a delegation to take part in national and international Microsoft Office Specialist World Championships.
Dr Kongsy said IIG Education Laos has been appointed a partner because it “is a prestigious testing organisation, a representative of major international organisations such as ETS,” he noted.
“The process of cooperation between the two sides in improving English language and computer proficiency among teachers and students in Laos has proved that IIG is the most capable and appropriate organisation and shares a passion for the development of education.”
The signing ceremony was attended by local leaders, authorities and other guests.