Australia launches training on the revised Grade 5 National Curriculum

Since 2015, the Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES) with the support of the Australian Government through the BEQUAL program has been developing a new national primary curriculum along with new teaching and learning materials and a complete training plan for the primary teachers. The new Grade 5 curriculum will be implemented at the start of the next school year in September 2023. This is the final year of the National Primary curriculum renewal process that began in 2019.

This week, Ajan Outhit Thipmany, Deputy Director General of the Research Institute for Educational Sciences (RIES) and Vanessa Hegarty, First Secretary, Australian Embassy opened the training of trainers’ workshop for Master Trainers. This first workshop marks the beginning of the series of cascade trainings to get all Grade 5 teachers, principals and pedagogical support providers equipped with the necessary skills, techniques and practical knowledge to use the new curriculum materials in their classroom, and ultimately to improve student learning outcomes.

“The objective of the Master Trainer Training Workshop is to introduce the revised Grade 5 curriculum and provide Master Trainers with a good understanding and confidence to pass on their knowledge to the Provincial Trainers who will train the Grade 5 teachers in July and August. Providing well planned, quality in-service teacher training is critical to the success of the new primary curriculum. I am honored to open today the Master Trainers Training and I would like to thank the Australian Government for its continuous support with the development and the implementation of the new curriculum,” said Ajan Outhit Thipmany.

“Today marks the start of the roll out of the new primary curriculum for Grade 5. We should all be proud of this milestone as it represents the final primary grade to be rolled out through the Master Trainer and Provincial Trainer system,” said Vanessa Hegarty.

During the six-days training, from 22nd-30th May 2023, the 64 Master Trainers will be orientated on three subjects of the new Grade 5 curriculum: Lao Language, English, and Science and Environment. They will have the opportunity to explore, test and reflect on different classroom activities built around active learning through microteaching sessions. They will also be introduced to the new assessment approach and the new lesson planning templates. To support the consolidation of learning from face-to-face training a session is included which will focus on how trainers and teachers can continue to learn, develop, seek and provide support with using the new curriculum during the school year.

There will be an increased focus on gender and inclusive education. The Master Trainers will explore practical ways to support teachers with planning and delivering lessons which promote inclusive education and ensure equal opportunities for all students. For example, by giving female students lead roles in group activities, rearranging the room so that it is more accessible for students with mobility issues, or encouraging non-Lao speaking students to use their first language to check their understanding of lesson content.

The increased focus on diversity and gender equality was also reflected during the annual review of the training teams at the beginning of this year and the percentage of female Provincial Trainers has increased to 47%. There is now a more gender balanced training team with 63 Master Trainers (47% female) and 18 Provincial teams of 638 trainers coming from every district of Laos.

In June, the Master Trainers will deliver the training they have received to the 18 Provincial Trainers teams who will then conduct five-days face-to-face training workshops to 13,268 Grade 5 teachers, principals and pedagogical support providers nationwide. The principals and pedagogical support providers will receive an additional sixth day of training in which they will explore practical ways to support teachers, motivate them to engage in professional development and set up a good school environment.

To facilitate additional self-learning, lesson preparation or refresher on specific teaching technique, RIES, with the support of Australia, is continuing to produce a wide range of videos for teachers and trainers. The videos can be viewed on the “teacher development videos” YouTube channel or on the Ministry ESTV channel. The YouTube channel has already more than 2.9 million views. Two new videos have just been produced: a training video on how to set up and manage pair and group work – to be released very soon – and a Role Model interview on how to create learning materials with local resources. More production is coming with a training video on how to build confidence in teaching English and a Role model interview on supporting ethnic students from remote areas. All videos are filmed in Lao classrooms. They are inclusive and dubbed in Sign Language.

“I wish you all success in your training. Your hard work and effort will help primary school children in Laos to strive for better learning outcomes,” Ajan Outhit Thipmany concluded:

“Successful implementation of curriculum training for Grade 5 is one step towards strengthening student learning and ensuring that all students have equal opportunities to participate in a quality education,” Ms Vanessa Hegarty concluded.

Source: Lao News Agency