Education Analytics Service

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Curriculum development, Developing countries, Lao, Literacy education, Multimethod techniques, Primary school curriculum, Professional development, Teacher effectiveness, Teacher improvement


The Government of Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) is undertaking significant primary education reforms, supported by the Australian Government's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) through its flagship Basic Education Quality and Access in Laos program (BEQUAL). The Australian Government has commissioned a study to investigate how the BEQUAL program is making a difference to improving teaching quality and student learning outcomes. This research is part of a multi-year study series undertaken by DFAT's Education Analytics Service to investigate teacher and learning development initiatives in three countries: Lao PDR, Timor-Leste and Vanuatu. In 2019, the new curriculum for Lao language and other subjects was introduced for Grade 1 and is being phased in across all five primary grades. The new curriculum promotes teaching practices that support pedagogies focused on student-centred approaches, active learning, assessment of student learning progress, and a phonics approach to teaching reading. Teachers are being provided with teacher guides and other teaching and learning resources, and receive face-to-face orientation on the new curriculum. In BEQUAL-targeted districts, education support grants are also available to facilitate additional in-service support for teachers and principals. This study has provided the opportunity to investigate teaching quality and student literacy outcomes in Lao PDR over two rounds of data collection, with another planned for October 2022. The Baseline Report captured ‘state of play’ information in 2019 prior to major curriculum changes, as well as the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. This summary provides an overview of findings and recommendations from the second year (2021) of the study, following two years of BEQUAL support for the implementation of the new Grade 1 Lao language curriculum.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Place of Publication



Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade




Geographic Subject

Lao People’s Democratic Republic


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