Global education monitoring

Evaluation of Australia’s Investment in Teacher Development in Lao PDR: Summary of the 2019 Baseline Report

Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER)


In 2019, the Government of Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) introduced a new primary education curriculum to improve teaching quality and student learning outcomes. The Government’s Education and Sports Sector Development Plan 2021- 25 focuses on improving teacher knowledge and skills as a means to improve student learning outcomes. This report summarises baseline findings just prior to these significant curriculum changes. These changes are supported by the Australian Government through its Basic Education Quality and Access in Laos (BEQUAL) program. The Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has commissioned a study to investigate how BEQUAL is making a difference to the Government of Lao PDR’s ongoing primary education reforms. This study is part of a multi-year series undertaken by DFAT’s Education Analytics Service to investigate teacher and learning development initiatives in three countries: Lao PDR, Timor-Leste and Vanuatu. Key findings from this study include: the need for intensive action on Lao language literacy; targeted teacher training on the new curriculum, with a special emphasis on second language learners; and deepened engagement with school communities to reduce student absenteeism and improve student readiness for school.