Digital era has made English language and computer skills essential tools for participating in international environment of studying and working. Laos is in need of a human resource that possesses advanced specialized knowledge as well as good English and computer skills to support the country’s integration in global economy. Therefore, international-standard English and computer proficiency have become a vital need from the very first grades of the schooling.
The improvement of English and computer literacy of students must go hand in hand with the enhancement of teachers’ professional skills. This requires international- standard assessing tools in teaching of both foreign language and information technology (IT) in schools. To this end, a firm determination and strategic view of decision makers play decisive role.
With regards to the enhancement of English level of teachers and students and IT in education in Laos, the Ministry of Education and Sports of Laos (MOES Laos) has made a comprehensive breakthrough in applying international standards to improve English and computer skills of teachers and students. Accordingly February 18th, 2014 saw the Ceremony of signing Memorandum of Understanding of enhancing English and Information technology proficiency for teachers and students of Laos up to International standards between Ministry of Education and Sports of Laos and IIG Education Laos. The ceremony took place at ICCT with the participation of representatives from Certiport (US), US and Vietnamese Ambassadors in Laos; local leaders and authorities, Ministry of Education and Sports, Education Standard Quality Assurance Commission (ESQAC), Board of management of IIG Education Laos and representatives from Divisions of Education and schools in the region.
- In area of Foreign language, Ministry of Education and Sports (MOES) recognizes:
– TOEFL Primary to be included in current English proficiency assessment system of students in primary schools of Laos; TOEFL Junior to be used for secondary students; and TOEFL iBT or TOEIC to be used in assessing English proficiency of high school students who aim for foreign or local educational programs.
– TOEIC to be used as tools of assessing English proficiency and pedagogic capability of English language teachers in Laos;
– TOEIC to be also used as a standard of measuring and improving the quality of education and training for colleges and vocational schools.
– MOES will gradually apply English Discoveries Online program (EDO) in order to enhance students’ English proficiency and improve teaching methods in schools.
With an aim of enhancing interaction between teachers and students as well as the quality of teaching English, Sanako laboratory learning software will be trialed at a number of advanced schools in Laos.
- In the area of Information Technology
– For students: IC3 Junior test to be applied as standard of assessing computer proficiency of primary students; IC3test for secondary school students; MOS (Microsoft Office Specialist) and ACA(Adobe Certified Associate) for high-schools. IC3is recognized as a graduation benchmark for college and vocational school students.
For teachers: IIG Education Laos will organize training programs and issue certificate of teaching IC3 and MOS. Besides, MOES will gradually have all its teachers certified for IC3.
It is also confirmed that a series of annual English language and computer literacy contests will be co-organized by MOES and IIG Education Laos in order to encourage and nurture talents in the English language and IT education of Laos. The use of TOEFL test will provide accurate assessment of quality the learning of English in the area and outline a clear orientation for students’ further education. MOS contests will be held annually to select a delegation to participate in national and international MOSWC (Microsoft Office Specialist WorldChampionship).
Mr Kongsy Sengmany –Vice Minister of MOES Laos – has revealed the reason for appointing IIG Education Laos to be the partner,: “Because IIG Education Laos is a prestigious testing organization, a representative of major international organizations such as ETS, Certiport… The process of collaboration between the MOES and IIG Education Laos in improving English language and computer proficiency of teachers and students in Laos has proved that IIG is the most capable and appropriate organization and shares thepassion for a developed education”.
At the ceremony, representatives of Certiport highly appreciated the view of Ministry of Education and Sports of Laos in carrying out this co-operation and committed to provide utmost support to IIG and the MOES in order to successfully implement this MOU.
As part of the ceremony, the seminar on “Piloting and setting of English Proficiency benchamark using TOEIC test and IT literacy benchmark for graduates using MOS and IC3 for public, private Universities and vocational and technical colleges” regarding the implementation of MOU terms went into details with specific discussions. This seminar has provided relevant organs, especially Divisions of Education and schools in Laos with a better awareness of forthcoming targets and duties.
According to Mr. Đoàn Hồng Nam – President of IIG, “this collaboration is the most systematic ever and is a landmark showing the desire for change of Ministry Education and Sports of Laos. With effective supports from major international organizations, IIG commits to co-operate with MOES to successfully implement this MOU”. “I strongly believe that Laos will possess a highly qualified human resource, which perfectly meets requirements of the society”.
For more information, please visit www.iiglaos.com