Education Sector Development Framework Sector Study. Human Resource Management

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1 Lao PDR ESDF Sector Study: Human Resource Management Education Sector Development Framework Sector Study Human Resource Management ADB ADVISORY TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE TA 4907-LAO LAO PDR: SECTOR-WIDE APPROACH IN EDUCATION SECTOR DEVELOPMENT John Dewar Wilson Khamhoung Sacklokham July 2009 Cambridge Education Ltd Burapha Development Consultants Co Ltd Ministry of Education Lao PDR 0

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3 "This document has been prepared for the titled project or named part thereof and should not be relied on or used for any other project without an independent check being carried out as to its suitability and prior written authority of Cambridge Education (CE) being obtained. Cambridge Education accepts no responsibility or liability for the consequences of this document being used for a purpose other than the purpose for which it was commissioned. Any person using or relying on the document for such other purposes agrees, and will by such use and reliance be taken to confirm his agreement to indemnify Cambridge Education. (CE) for all loss and damage resulting there from. Cambridge Education (CE) accepts no responsibility or liability for this document to any party other than the person by whom it was commissioned." "To the extent that this report is based on information supplied by other parties, Cambridge Education (CE) accepts no liability for any loss or damage suffered by the client, whether contractual or tortuous, stemming from any conclusions based on data supplied by parties other than Cambridge Education (CE) and used by Cambridge Education (CE) in preparing this report." 1

4 TABLE OF CONTENTS LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS...5 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY INTRODUCTION TERMS OF REFERENCE TOR 1: Review previous institutional capacity building activities and identify reasons behind limited impact so far achieved TOR 2: Assist MoE Organizational Improvement Committee (OIC) to develop policies to improve impact of capacity building (CB) TOR 3: Review the efficiency of Teacher Education Institutions (TEI) and Higher Education Institutions (HEI) including scholarships HR TERMS AND THEIR MEANING IN LAO PDR Human Resource Development (HRD) Human Resource Management (HRM) Continuing professional development (CPD) Capacity building (CB) and capacity development (CD) CONCLUSION INTRODUCTION THE SITUATION OF EDUCATION IN LAO PDR Access Access to educational opportunity ACCESS TO EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES IN THE EDUCATION SERVICE Access to a civil service teaching position Promotion within primary teaching Promotion as a Pedagogical Adviser (PA) Recruitment and selection for TEI teacher training posts Recruitment, selection and transfer of staff for MoE management posts Appointment to senior positions within MoE Conclusion QUALITY AND RELEVANCE Physical facilities Teaching conditions Teachers Teaching quality Teacher education Quality and relevance of management Conditions of service Recruitment and selection Incentives Primary school management

5 Monitoring and evaluation Career structure Student representation Conclusion GOVERNANCE AND MANAGEMENT Policy making, dissemination and implementation Legal situation Education service administration and management Induction and training of management staff Research and intelligence Vision and strategic thinking skills Ethical practice Conclusion STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES OF THE CURRENT EDUCATIONAL SITUATION Access Quality and relevance Governance and management INTRODUCTION STUDENT PARTICIPATION PROGRESS AND ACHIEVEMENT RECRUITMENT OF BEST PERSONS WHO BECOME COMMITTED TEACHERS Teachers status: civil servants or what? Teachers salaries Incentives Managing teacher supply Teacher numbers Conclusion A COMMITTED TEACHING FORCE WITH ENHANCED PROFESSIONAL SKILLS Recruitment to pre-service teacher training Improved teacher training Selection for primary teaching positions Professional development BETTER MANAGED SCHOOLS BETTER MANAGED EDUCATION SERVICE OPPORTUNITIES FOR MORE TO PROGRESS TO, AND SUCCEED WITHIN HIGH QUALITY POST-SCHOOL EDUCATION CONCLUSION INTRODUCTION HRM CONSULTANTS APPROACH TO IMPLEMENTING ESDF A MACRO VIEW OF IMPLEMENTATION

6 4.3 CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT FRAMEWORK (CDF) STRATEGIES FOR ACHIEVING TARGETS Student participation, progress and achievement Recruitment of best persons who become committed teachers A committed teaching force with enhanced professional skills Better managed schools Better managed education service Opportunities for more to progress to and succeed within high quality post-school education CONCLUSIONS...65 REFERENCES...70 List of Annexes Annex 1a Report of Workshop on HRM Implications of ESDF for Annex 1b Workshop Program - ESDF: Working Group on HRM Annex 1c Workshop Documentation Annex 2 Education Sector Development Framework Integrated Legislative and Regulatory Drafting Matrix List of Tables and Text Boxes Text Box 1 Text Box 2 Text Box 3 Text Box 4 Text Box 5 Table 1 Table 2 Table 3 Features of development partner projects that limit capacity building Strengths and weaknesses of the current educational situation in Lao PDR Legislative actions to implement ESDF recommendations implying HR CDF recommendations for bridging capacity gaps of individuals Current and alternative conceptualizations of HR in Laos PDR Number and percentage of teacher training graduates by different training routes projected for 2008 Number of primary teachers in Lao PDR in by district and training category GOL PDR government spending on teacher salaries and percentage non-salary of total block grant recurrent expenditure by sector 4

7 LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS ADB AETC ASEAN ASLO AusAID BA BENC BESDP CB CDF CEWED CPD CS CSOI CSM DEB DD DG DHE DNFE DOF DoP DPC DPP DSE DTT DTVE Asian Development Bank Administrator Education Training Center Association of South-East Asian Nations Achievement of School Learning Outcomes Australian Assistance for International Development Bachelor of Arts Basic Education in Northern Communities Basic Education Sector Development Project Capacity Building Capacity Development Framework Center for the Promotion of Education for Women, Ethnic and Disabled Continuing Professional Development Civil service/servant Civil Service Organizational Improvement Civil Service Management District Education Bureau Deputy Director Director General Department of Higher Education Department of Non-Formal Education Department of Finance Department of Organization and Personnel Department of Planning and Cooperation Department of Primary and Pre-School Education Department of Secondary Education Department of Teacher Training Department of Technical and Vocational Education EDP2 Education Development Project 2 EFA EMTC ESIT Education for All Education Management Training Center Educational Statistics & Information Technology 5

8 ESDF FOE FTI GIR GOL HE HEI HR HRD HRM ICT JICA LABEP LDC MDG MoE MOF NESQAC NFE NGO NSEDP NUOL OCSC OD OIC OJT PA PACSA PDR PES PhD PIMS PPTA Education Sector Development Framework Faculty of Education Fast Track Initiative Governance and Institutional Reform Government of Lao PDR Higher Education Higher Education Institutions Human Resource Human Resource Development Human Resource Management Information and Communication Technology Japan International Cooperation Agency Lao-Australia Basic Education Project Least developed country Millennium Development Goals Ministry of Education Ministry of Finance National Education Standards and Quality Assurance Center Non-formal education Non-government organization National Socio-Economic Development Plan National University of Lao Office of the Civil Service Commission Organization Development Organizational Improvement Committee On-the-job training Pedagogical Adviser Public Administration and Civil Service Agency Peoples Democratic Republic Provincial Education Service Doctor of Philosophy Project Information Management Systems Project Preparatory Technical Assistance 6

9 PTR RIES SDIE SIDA SMATT SOE SOJT SREAC TEED TEI TES TESAP TL TOR TT TTC TTEST TTS TUP TVET UNICEF VEDC WB Pupil Teacher Ratio Research Institute for Educational Sciences Social Development and Inclusive Education Swedish International Development Assistance Science and Mathematics Teacher Training State Owned Enterprises Structured on-the-job training Strategy Research and Education Analysis Center Teacher Education Evaluation Division Teacher Education Institution Teacher Education School Teacher Education Strategy and Action Plan Team Leader Terms of Reference Teacher Training Teacher Training College Teacher Training, Enhancement and Status of Teachers project Teacher Training School Teacher Upgrading Project Technical and Vocational Education and Training United Nations Children s Fund Village Education Development Committee World Bank 7

10 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY This report is on Human Resource (HR) implications of implementing the Education Sector Development Framework in Lao PDR. It was prepared between November 2008 and June 2009 after desk study, interviews with MoE, provincial and district staff including teachers and a visit to a northern province. It describes and analyzes the current educational and human resource situation in Lao PDR from access, quality and relevance, and governance and management perspectives, addresses six ESDF-related targets for improvement and makes 20 recommendations, the gist of which are italicized in the text below. The ESDF-related targets are: 1. Most students in society participating, progressing and achieving good standards within quality pre-primary, primary and secondary schools. 2. The best people training as teachers and committing to a career in teaching. 3. A better educated and trained teaching force with greater pedagogical skills and opportunities for professional development. 4. Better managed and better resourced primary and secondary schools. 5. A better managed education service at all levels. 6. Opportunities for greater numbers of school students and those in employment to progress to, and learn within, a variety of forms of post-school and continuing education. Education in Lao PDR has still some way to go to ensure that all children enroll in school and complete five years of primary education. Currently around 20% of children do not enroll or attend regularly. Factors that prevent participation include lack of teachers in remote and ethnic communities, poverty that makes school fees unaffordable and attitudes that view schooling as offering little of relevance, especially for children with disabilities. Other factors are a variable teaching force in terms of academic qualifications and training, extremely limited resources for teaching and learning due to restricted government funding, and uneven quality of management at central, provincial, district, school and community levels. Low teacher salaries, poor conditions, and ineffective incentives may reduce the appeal of teaching especially to graduates needed to staff six years of secondary schooling from , notwithstanding that teachers have civil service status. However, this status is under review though options have not been canvassed. Ministry of Education (MoE) should set out in a paper advantages and disadvantages for the teaching profession of changing teachers status including the possibility of making them employees of provinces. Salaries should be increased to 2.5 times GDP by 2015 as in neighboring countries. ESDF proposes that all teacher trainees should receive scholarships. As this will increase competition for teacher training places better developed selection systems will be needed. Since few graduates enter teaching, research should illuminate the reasons why. ESDF was developed in 2008 by senior MoE staff and national experts, assisted by international consultants funded by European Union, Asian Development Bank and AusAid. It provides strategies and targets for achieving education for all and millennium development goals. It proposes scholarship provision for students from poor backgrounds at all stages. It 8

11 also aims to improve quality and relevance of pre-primary, primary, secondary, technical, post-school and non-formal education in a variety of ways. Improved system governance and management are further targets. ESDF is accepted for World Bank Fast Track Initiative catalytic funding. When that and new development partner funding is secured MoE will decide what to implement. World Bank s Capacity Development Framework was developed to provide assistance to development partners on what HR is needed. ESDF is policy laden and implies 50+ legislative actions. All agencies in MoE have policy making functions. MoE is undertaking internal restructuring but lacks HR to assist line managers to develop staff. Such a resource could also advise senior management on overall needs, including how to represent its own and the system s interests in negotiations with other government departments and development partners. Rationalizing meanwhile is in process, similarly unsupported at provincial and district levels which administer pre-school, primary and secondary schools, nominate teachers for training and deploy trained teachers in schools. MoE and PES should establish modern HR functions and TA should be sought to assist them to do so. University study of HR should be introduced. Analysis suggests that major HR concerns relate to teacher recruitment, selection, deployment and training as well as system and institutional management. Problems of teacher supply stem from lack of overall management and MoE s Department of Teacher Training should be given this responsibility. Incentives to work in remote and ethnic areas have proved ineffective. However ad hoc training programs for students recruited from these communities have met some supply needs and should be continued, with school managers also enabled to offer school leavers contracts for teaching posts, subject to post-training review. Many primary trained teachers are unable to obtain teaching positions, though a majority has qualified through a quota route designed with this intention. They are denied probation teaching to acquire qualified teacher status: arrangements should be made to ensure access to teaching positions for this purpose and to increase teacher mobility across Lao PDR. At present many teach as paid contract teachers or as unpaid volunteers for some years until a civil service position becomes available. Selection is expensive to apply for, and the process followed often involves a written test more suited for those entering administrative work. It appears to favor volunteers. Teachers have opportunities to upgrade their academic qualifications and move to a higher salary scale, but professional development opportunities are limited, of mixed quality, do not accumulate into a professional qualification and are not recognized for salary purposes. National University of Lao PDR Faculty of Education should lead development of an accredited program of inservice education and training leading to a qualification that counts towards salary upgrading. Implementing ESDF implies system, institutional and individual development. System-wise the need is first to provide a more comprehensive picture of teacher supply, second to increase the quality of the teaching force by offering incentives to encourage poorly educated and trained primary teachers to retire early, thereby creating posts for better educated and trained teachers, and ultimately making three years of training the norm after 12 years of schooling. The system also should reward head teacher and teacher performance with advances on incremental salary scale for developing schools to meet criteria for schools of quality. Training should equip school directors to provide on-the-job assistance with program and lesson planning to assist staff to develop more relevant local curricula of higher quality that might attract student and parent interest. 9

12 Institutions that support schools, such as MoE, PES and DEB have important monitoring and facilitating roles. With HR support as proposed they could model transparent selection and performance appraisal processes and advocate within government at all levels for more resources and a fairer financial deal for an education system that is advertised as the human resource development strategy that will raise Lao PDR from least developed country status by MoE too could articulate to development partners how projects can make use of modern HR strategies to promote workplace learning. Development partners could ensure that projects also incorporate more sophisticated HR models incorporating structured on-thejob training. Investment in individuals with multiplier potential who are able to exert positive influence in valued ways on others is an important strategy for system improvement. An extensive scholarship program will sponsor many for degree level professional qualifications and international study. Transparency in selection is essential. Knowledge management systems could assist managers to capitalize on learning, experience and skills acquired by others. Examples from recent development partner projects that have targeted a key strategic group teacher educators - show what thoughtful project design, carefully and systematically implemented, can achieve for individuals, institutions and the system as a whole; they also show how management can harness or thwart learning thus acquired. 10

13 1 COUNTRY CONTEXT 1.0 INTRODUCTION The international Human Resource Management (HRM) consultant mobilized on 23 November His assigned task was to contribute to the development of the Education Sector Development Framework (ESDF) for Lao PDR. However as this task was almost complete Terms of Reference (TOR) were amended to those shown below. Flexible interpretation of these terms was agreed with ADB. Brief discussion of TOR and their fulfillment is in Section 1.1. Ministry of Education (MoE) in Lao PDR uses some standard Human Resource (HR) terms in distinctive ways. Sub-section 1.2 introduces key vocabulary. 1.1 TERMS OF REFERENCE TOR 1: Review previous institutional capacity building activities and identify reasons behind limited impact so far achieved. Lao PDR reluctance to invest in education currently only around 6% of government recurrent budget, less than half of regional neighbors though currently increasing (Tibi 2009) - explains the important role played by development partners in capacity building (CB). They include international development agencies, governments and Non Government Organizations (NGO). In 2007/8 development partners contributed USD$ million to Official Development Assistance for education (NSEDP , Annex 4, p. 32). Specific study was made of several ongoing and recently completed school and teacher education projects in Lao PDR: European Union s Basic Education in Northern Communities (BENC) ( ), AusAid s Lao-Australian Basic Education Project for Girls (LABEP) ( ), UNICEF s Teacher Upgrading Project (TUP) ( ), and Japan International Cooperation Agency s (JICA) Science and Mathematics Teacher Training (SMATT) ( ). Willsher s (2008) UNICEF funded review of in-service training provision was consulted and findings from World Bank (WB) (2009) on development needs of managers and administrators at provincial and district levels. Projects undoubtedly leave footprints and some shape the system and become incorporated into enhanced normal practice, such as new approaches to teacher training for students from ethnic backgrounds trialed by LABEP. However, assisting development is no easy task. Review of the above projects indicates several project features some acknowledged by their managers, others not - that limited their effectiveness and impacted on capacity building. These are summarized in Text Box 1. The box shows that these include lack of coordination between development partners or between development partners and responsible government agencies, weak project design and/or implementation, or good design not realized in practice through weak implementation and lack of thoughtful exit strategies to promote sustainability. Projects also often operate only in sectors or districts of the country perceived by development partners to have special needs, thereby creating imbalances and complicating design of future projects. Projects often focus on upgrading skills of individuals, too without regard for the wider context in which these individuals operate. Recognition of the need for a more coordinated approach to development work was reflected in the Vientiane Declaration (2006), ESDF and WB s (2009) Capacity Development Framework (CDF). Project design needs to be informed by a broader concept of human resource development at both MoE and development partner levels. 11

14 Text Box 1: Features of development partner projects that limit capacity building Development partner provision has been project-based and often uncoordinated Development assistance to favored provinces and districts Focus on developing skills of individual teachers rather than of management capacity for schools as systems Reliance on off-the-job training models with insufficient follow-up into the teaching situation Limited range of training models Poor project design e.g. inadequate needs analysis, short-term or lack of evaluation Adequate project design but poor implementation e.g. poor staff models Unclear criteria for developed practice Overload/lack of commitment of senior MoE managers and implementers Weak trainers Lack of communication between projects resulting in overlap TOR 2: Assist MoE Organizational Improvement Committee (OIC) to develop policies to improve impact of capacity building (CB). Organizational development (OD): OD is the process whereby an enterprise manages development of internal unit structures, job design and work allocation to achieve strategic objectives that enable it to perform more effectively within the context in which it operates. A Public Administration and Civil Service Agency (PACSA) oversees civil service (CS). It is responding to impact of globalization as reflected in ASEAN membership, greater international links through tourism and the dynamic economy by seeking to improve CS efficiency through modernized personnel management incorporating ICT. It created a Lao PDR Civil Service Management (CSM) Strategic Framework in which the key strategic role of HR in improving organizational and individual performance is recognized. One aspect is reviewing structures and staffing at Ministry, provincial and district levels. MoE established an Organizational Improvement Committee (OIC) to review its structure. OIC is chaired by a Vice-Minister. It operates through a Steering Committee. MoE s Department of Organization and Personnel (DoP), as Secretariat reviews strengths and weaknesses of current arrangements not only within MoE but also at Provincial and District levels and National University of Lao (NUOL) and makes proposals. OIC may create Task Forces to examine specific issues. OIC s recommendations are communicated to the Prime Minister who issues decrees for implementation. Changes within MoE include replacing Department of General Education in mid-2008 by line departments for Primary and Pre-Primary (DPP), Secondary (DSE) and Technical and Vocational Education (DTVE) and establishing new centers - including Center for Promotion of Education for Women, Ethnic and Disabled (CEWED) and National Education Standards and Quality Assurance (NESQAC). A Ministerial Decree of 4 th March 2009 created a new Strategy Research and Education Analysis Center (SREAC) in 12

15 place of a former Division of Department of Planning and Cooperation (DPC). It is understood that the current phase of restructuring is now ended. HR consultants assisted DoP to prioritize ESDF proposals with HR and CB implications. In association with Governance and Institutional Reform (GIR) consultants, and with DPC support they assisted staff in SREAC and others within MoE to conceptualize policy development, legislation and implementation processes for ESDF with specific reference to block grants. 17 provincial education services (PES) and 140 district education bureaux (DEB) have important administrative functions for secondary and primary education service delivery respectively. Provincial and district structures have not yet been realigned to new central arrangements. Provinces continue to have General Education sections for example. Lack of alignment may have implications for implementing ESDF. PACSA established an OIC to conduct a pilot study to rationalize PES/DEB service provision. HR consultants visited one of six districts involved. Staff reported ways in which overlapping services could be rationalized. The pilot study was due to report in mid-march TOR 3: Review the efficiency of Teacher Education Institutions (TEI) and Higher Education Institutions (HEI) including scholarships. Efficiency relates to cost-effectiveness. Relevant factors include unit costs, program and staff quality, competition and program duplication between sectors and institutions, academic specialism and economic needs. Unit Costs TTEST (2006) was unable to reach conclusions about TEI unit costs because of inadequate financial records at all levels. WB (2007) reported that it cost 17 times as much to train a primary teacher as to educate a primary student - USD$ compared to USD$ 9.9; it maintained that 80% of the total higher education budget is spent on teacher education. The calculation included scholarship costs. Tibi (2009) disputed whether scholarship costs should be included. He reported costs of primary education, teacher training and higher education for 2004 and 2005 as (kip 000) and 186.1, 1,027.5 and 1,382.6, and 1,352.8 and 1,341.1 respectively i.e. a ratio of 1:7 for teacher training in each year and 1:9 and 1:8 for higher education, which is close to the developing country international norm of 1:10. Unit costs for primary and teacher training increased by approximately 20% between and , while costs for higher education remained about the same. No explanation is provided for this. TEI and HEI DTT funds and manages TEI though TTEST (2006) maintains that PES influence ethos. TEI comprise five Teacher Training Colleges (TTC) that offer training leading to a Diploma for teaching primary (grades 1-5) and lower secondary (grades 6-8), and three Teacher Training Schools (TTS) that train for primary and pre-primary. Table 1 shows an MOE projection that 7,147 graduates for primary teacher training would emerge from teacher training institutions in Lao PDR in Of these almost three in four would be high school graduates who had taken one or three years of training, while the great 13

16 majority of the remainder would be year 8 leavers who had taken three years of training. A small percentage of newly trained teachers with only five years of secondary education and trained over four years also qualified. It is understood that no new admissions are being accepted to this route to a teacher training qualification. Table 1: Number and percentage of teacher training graduates by different training routes projected for Projected Teacher Training Graduates by Training Route Total N (%) N (%) N (%) N (%) N (%) 234 (3.3) 1,612 (22.6) 2,820 (39.5) 2,481 (34.7) 7,147 (100) Source: World Bank (2007) Teaching in Lao PDR Vientiane, Ministry of Education, Table 8, p. 37 ESDF reported that 17,481 pre-service trainees were enrolled in 2007.The majority of trainees pay no course fees. Around half of all students receive scholarships of 70,000 kip per month to cover living expenses, but must pay registration, laboratory, teaching practice and other fees. Many students reside in dormitories. TEI s earn additional income from special course students who study a teacher training program in English part-time though few have an intention to teach. The number of such students increased five-fold between 2001 and 2006; in a total of 3,883 special course students were studying in TEI. DTT approves their fees and sets enrolment numbers. A proportion of income supplements salaries of those staff who teach them; MoE credits a TEI with the remainder and reduces maintenance payments accordingly. The system meets demand for a cheap part-time route to a post-school qualification in English for those who cannot get into a university. But it is inefficient. It adds significantly to the teaching load of staff that teaches English in particular and that wastes time teaching methods courses students do not need. HEI comprises four universities and over 80 degree-awarding private colleges. MoE s Departments of Higher Education (DHE) and Private Education (DPE) manage certain aspects of respective institutions. NUOL was established in 1990, Champasak in 2002, Souphanouvong in 2003 and Savannakhet in Over 90% of university students pay no tuition, laboratory or library fees; around 40% receive scholarships of 90,000 kip per month. DHE approves student numbers and fees for special courses mainly in English, Business and Law - currently USD$ 100 for two semesters of study. (NUOL s Faculty of Education (FoE) reported that it had more special course students than degree course students in ). Private colleges receive no government support or special consideration, for example in regard to low interest loans for new buildings. Students pay fees; a few making good progress receive limited institutional support. Program and Staff Quality in Teacher Education Eleven full-time pre-service programs are offered (WB 2007) over one, two, three or four years. Entry is on the basis of completed school education. This may be judged inefficient when academic bridging courses might bring students to a common standard. There is evidence of duplication: in one TTS visited the same 8+3 program is being offered in 2009 separately to ethnic and non-ethnic teacher trainees. There are no in-service programs. 14

17 TTEST (2006) estimated that, over the entire system accommodation the equivalent of one slightly smaller than average TEI was unutilized. It reported that half of 520 TEI staff in post in had BA degrees and less than 3% a Master s degree. They taught an average of seven hours per week. TTEST (2004) reported high internal efficiency with few students failing or dropping out, though that is not a sure guide to academic standards. Follow-up into employment data showed that many trained primary teachers do not apply for teaching positions. Many who wish to teach cannot find jobs and so cannot undertake the final stage of training viz. probation. The quota category of students has restricted mobility as they are under obligation to teach in the home province that nominated them. Program and Staff Quality in Higher Education The three established universities provide 3- or 4-year BA degrees, including a qualification for secondary teaching. NUOL has 1,059 staff, 52 with PhD and 384 with Master s. An ambitious staff development plan is under way. It offers a PhD in Economics and 28 Master s programs. It is claimed that there is little overlap with programs offered by new universities. In 2008 NUOL had 32,332 students it also had 22,000 attending special courses. Little wastage occurs from drop-out or academic failure. Most private HEI provide diploma and Bachelors courses in business, management, ICT and English. A few now offer Masters degrees. Their staff is often part-time, sourced from NUOL or business; most have Bachelor qualifications. Some private colleges in Vientiane Capital City claim to have difficulty filling places because their fees are expensive compared with those for special courses at NUOL. There is little evidence on graduate employment. Senior staff at a prestigious secondary school in Vientiane Capital City and officials in MoE s DoF complain that BAs never apply for posts. So perhaps most graduates do find work. In a limited labor market survey, Hough (2008) suggested that Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) should be expanded to increase the supply of skilled tradespersons, such as electricians and plumbers. Conclusion Tibi s (2009) evidence indicates that unit cost ratios for primary, teacher training and higher education are similar to those internationally. Action to reduce costs in teacher training and higher education might involve reducing the number of programs and increasing student numbers within each, adjusting the balance between on- and off-campus study, such as lengthening teaching practice and investing in distance learning. Although hard figures are lacking it would seem that public TEI and HEI could certainly be more efficient. Both train many students at government expense, many on government scholarships who decide not to teach. While there is no doubt some return to the nation on this investment it suggests a need to review post-school provision in general and admission policies for TEI in particular. Universities too train large numbers of special course students at fees that private colleges cannot compete with. This is unfair to private colleges and seems likely to restrict their growth. Staff in higher education is relatively poorly qualified so that functions associated with the sector such as quality pre- and in-service training, postgraduate programs and research are not provided. A broader range of programs is required 15

18 including more relevant to the developing Lao economy. For example there are few programs on food processing and mining. HEI and TEI places are also on the whole currently accessible to children of more affluent parents who can support their secondary schooling and taking of entrance examinations. Children from poorer families may access higher education through quotas, but participation in teacher training especially still involves significant costs; only a few from remote and ethnic areas have access to such opportunities. ESDF proposes providing scholarships from 2010 to assist poor students to complete upper primary and secondary schooling. If implemented this could equalize access opportunities. 1.2 HR TERMS AND THEIR MEANING IN LAO PDR Human Resource Development (HRD) The Education Law of Lao PDR of 17 July 2007, article 4 states: Education is central for human resource development. Education is defined to include early childhood education, general education, vocational and higher education. (Interestingly non-formal education (NFE) is not mentioned). The definition implies, as is common in this sub-region of Asia that HRD is equated with learning by those within, or about to enter formal education. The Education for All Mid-Decade Assessment (2005) regards Integrated Vocational Education and Training (IVET) as the main national HRD strategy. The western concept of HRD is different. It relates to all learning engaged in over the lifespan on a continuous basis in a wide range of contexts, including especially the workplace, to develop expertise and performance quality. It also includes organization development (OD), career development and talent management. Strategic HRM sees development and deployment of HR as the key to organizational success. PACSA appears to have such a conception. MoE s conception of HR appears to be similar to that of managers of State-Owned Enterprises in Lao PDR: keeping personnel records, recruitment and salary administration (Quang and Thavisay 1999). MoE is the government agency responsible for managing and providing HRD through school and post-school institutions. DoP is responsible for HR functions for office staff at ministry, province and district levels as well as school directors and administrators. DoP s Division of Legislation and HRD has two functions: its legislation function is processing decrees, regulations and other instruments for enforcing policies, while HRD maintains records of staff on national and international training. MoE s DPC has been tasked with advising government on international scope of HRD Human Resource Management (HRM) DoP has a Division of HRM and Incentives. HRM is responsible for what is described as recruitment and deployment of teachers, staff management, promotion and transfer. However, staff are engaged on clerical tasks that are outcomes of processes managed elsewhere. Recruitment is entering on a data base names of PACSA-approved newly appointed CS; promotion confirming that a CS may progress on the bi-annual incremental scale. 16

19 1.2.3 Continuing professional development (CPD) CPD refers to maintaining currency and enhancing learning for professional roles subsequent to completion of pre-service training and probation. In some countries, renewal of a license to practice as a professional depends upon providing evidence of CPD. There is no professional registration in Lao PDR. A concept of teacher competency exists in The National Charter of Teacher Competencies developed in Capacity building (CB) and capacity development (CD) Many projects including WB (2009) refer to CB/CD. An explanation of CB is in WB (2001): Effective CB involves effective training (supported by) an appropriate working environment compris(ing) a well-managed and well-led office with appropriate facilities and equipment where workplace competency can be developed through problem solving, drawing on knowledge and skills acquired from training supplemented by coaching and other forms of constructive supervision. CB also depends upon effective recruitment, succession management, remuneration and promotion systems. WB (2001) concluded that cascade training was not effective, that addressing salary and conditions of service was key to trainees putting into practice what they learned from pre- and in-service training, that induction programs should be provided for all staff moving into new management positions, and that monitoring and evaluation of CB efforts was required at all levels. (Tibi 2007) The distinctive MoE usage of HR terms is important to bear in mind. In this report these terms are used in an international sense. 1.3 CONCLUSION This section has described some aspects of the country context in relation to TOR. The next section provides a situational analysis of the education sector in Lao PDR. 17

20 2 SITUATIONAL ANALYSIS 2.0 INTRODUCTION ESDF targets for education relate to improved access, quality and relevance, and governance and management. This section first describes education in Lao PDR under these headings from an HR perspective. It then analyses strengths and weaknesses of current arrangements. 2.1 THE SITUATION OF EDUCATION IN LAO PDR Access Access refers to processes by which people gain admission to, and take advantage of, a particular service or role. It comprises recruitment and selection. Recruitment is creating awareness of an available opportunity and the criteria for accessing it; selection is the process whereby applications from those who wish to access that opportunity are considered and judgments made as to who should be allowed to do so. Decisions may or may not be based on advertised criteria. Access includes non-access which may reflect lack of provision, unwillingness to take advantage of an access opportunity, or non-success in meeting access criteria. It also includes affirmative action to enable individuals or groups who would normally not be regarded as eligible to access a particular role or context. Support for access in financial terms e.g. scholarships or stipends or material support e.g. food and lodging may be intrinsic to access for certain categories of people. Access is considered here first in relation to educational opportunity, and then in relation to accessing employment in the education service Access to educational opportunity Pre-school education Though universal pre-school provision is a goal, access is restricted since it is available mainly in urban areas. Less than 15% of children are enrolled nationally in various types of facilities. Access is determined by parents ability to pay. Fees in one pre-school visited were 30,000 kip per month. (USD$ 1=Kip 8,500 in March 2009) Primary school location ESITC estimates that there are 10,533 villages in Lao PDR, many situated in remote areas in a country half as big as France and with a population of around six million. They vary greatly in terms of size, permanence, accessibility, wealth and facilities. Around 8,800 villages have primary schools or schools within 1-2 kilometers that 6-year olds may be expected to walk to. Small settlements have only a few school age children in each age group, causing two or three grades to be placed with one teacher in multi-grade classes. 4,500 schools consist of one to two classrooms and are, with three to four classroom schools, designated as incomplete. Recruitment of students to school, especially primary is often influenced by its location in relation to home. The greater the distance the less attractive a school may be. Access to primary 1 is restricted for a sizeable number of pupils in Lao PDR because of lack of a local school; incomplete schools may necessitate a change of school to one in a different village that may be a further deterrent to recruitment. 18

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