The economy of Laos is growing steadily with an average growth rate of 7.7% over the last decade. Still, the development in rural and peri-urban areas – where a large part of the population lives – remains slow with agricultural produce as the main income source. The technical and vocational education and training (TVET) sector of Laos faces the challenge of keeping pace with economic and social developments in the Asian region, and of further providing an impetus for value creation along agricultural value chains and promoting integration into regional agricultural markets. Further development of vocational education is high on the political agenda to ensure that technical skills and knowledge required for modernizing agricultural production are available.
Today, the GDP per capita of Laos is similar to that of China twenty years ago. Rural development and rural job profiles in China faced similar challenges in the past decades. Since the early 1990s, China and Germany successfully cooperate in the field of TVET as part of bilateral and regional development cooperation. Among other things, the Hanns Seidel Foundation of Germany works closely with the Qingdao Education Bureau in China to support the development and introduction of vocational training courses for rural professions (agriculture and food processing), incl. capacity building of teachers at the Secondary Vocational Technical School of Pingdu, a county-level city known for its rich agricultural products located in the east of Shandong Peninsula in China.
Laos and Germany are long-term partners in TVET. A Dual- Cooperative Training approach was jointly developed and is currently in the roll-out process with a focus on capacity building and organizational development support to flagship colleges in provinces with high demand for labor. In close cooperation between the state and the private sector, training courses are set up for relevant professions.
The project aims at increasing the knowledge and skills of Lao vocational teachers in agriculture-related occupations for improving the quality of the Dual-Cooperative Training implemented in Lao PDR.
In line with the priorities of Lao-German development cooperation and the internationalization strategy of China’s education sector, Chinese experience, German expertise and the complementarities and financial resources of the two countries are combined to support Laos in the further development of its TVET system.
The government of Lao PDR welcomes the initiative which can help to join forces, pool resources and develop key competencies. The governments of Germany and China agreed to jointly fund and steer the project together with their Lao partners. The Sino-German Center for Sustainable Development, a joint initiative by Germany and China, serves as the platform for project preparation and implementation.
Political partners of the project are:
Ministry of Education and Sports of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (MoES)
Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China (MofCom)
Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development of the Federal Republic of Germany (BMZ)
Implementing partners are:
Vocational Education Development Institute (VEDI)
Contact: Dr. Phouvieng Phoumilay firstname.lastname@example.org
Qingdao Education Bureau
Pingdu Secondary Vocational Technical School
Contact: Mr. Qi Jiangang email@example.com
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH
Contact: Mr. Phimmasone Thongphataysack firstname.lastname@example.org
The triangular project comprises mainly human capacity development of Lao teacher trainers and teachers TVET institutions at the Pingdu Secondary Vocational Technical School. There, both theoretical and practical training is provided and the current Chinese TVET system and business environment is demonstrated.
Based on the needs of the Lao side and the expertise and experience of the Chinese partner the following agricultural sub-sectors are targeted: planting and livestock breeding, agricultural machinery, food processing, mechatronics.
GIZ’s role is to facilitate the identification of training participants together with VEDI and to organize the training missions from Laos to Pingdu. With the support of Qingdao Education Bureau, the Pingdu
Secondary Vocational Technical School prepares and develops training curricula and conducts capacity development measures tailored to the needs formulated by VEDI.
State of implementation/Impact
In August 2018, two pilot trainings were conducted for 20 vocational teachers from VEDI and other TVET institutions from Laos on animal husbandry and horticulture. Based on learning from the pilots, the joint project was designed.
The triangular project was announced at the occasion of an international forum on “Challenges and Prospects of Vocational Education for Rural Sustainable Development” hosted by the Qingdao Education Bureau and the Hanns Seidel Foundation in May 2019.
Three two-week trainings were conducted in the Pingdu Secondary Vocational Technical School at the end of August 2019 for 26 vocational teachers from Laos on three subjects: agricultural machinery, food processing and planting.
The project was officially endorsed by the BMZ and the MofCom in January 2020. Overall the project is currently planned until the end of 2021.
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