February 24, 2014 00:00 By Sisouphan Amphonephong Vienti
A Japanese International Cooperation Agency senior volunteer is helping improve teaching methods at the National University of Laos with the aid of a newly created biology textbook.
The book, which stems from a collaboration between Department of Natural Sciences Teacher Education deputy director Dr Saya Chemcheng, his NUOL colleagues and JICA senior volunteer Mr Katsumori Kugai, aims to upgrade teaching methods at the Faculty of Education.
The book has more than 200 pages and provides information on local ecology, with more than 400 colour pictures of over 350 plant varieties used to help teachers and students have a better understanding of the subject.
Two years of research as gone into the creation of the textbook.
The biology text has a lot of beneficial information on ecology management, with study material on plants around the university, to encourage students to see the importance of the environment for sustainable development.
The chief representative of JICA Lao office, Koichi Takei, and his officials yesterday presented 250 textbooks on biology to Minister of Education and Sports Dr Phankham Viphavanh and reported the successful use of the textbook.
Mr Koichi said the textbook would help students learn and research the wonders of Laos’ environment and help teachers strengthened their practical skills in developing experimental lessons for students .
“I believe that students will certainly gain knowledge and skills through the utilisation of these textbooks and I also expect the Faculty of Education to continuously benefit through collaboration with JICA senior volunteer Mr Katsumori Kugai in improving the quality of teachers and students,” Mr Koichi said.
“We feel very happy to provide support to the education sector in Laos in order to achieve the prosperity of the country.
“We will try to commit further cooperation by dispatching JICA volunteers to the Faculty of Education based upon the necessity and request of Lao PDR.
“This book will lead to further cooperation and friendship between Laos and Japan for regional prosperity.”
Dr Phankham Viphavan thanked JICA for seeing the importance of the improvement in the education sector in Laos, especially the improvement of teaching methods that is significant for human-resource development.
He said the best teaching methods would help students more easily understand their lessons.
With the regional economic integration of the Asean Economic Community slated for 2015, he encouraged teachers to research and develop their own teaching materials to make the most of human-resource development.
Mr Katsumori said students would gain a lot of knowledge from the textbook.