The Lao government says it will expand educational opportunities to Lao youth at all levels next year to reach its goal of developing more human resources as stipulated in its 2008-09 socio-economic development plan.
Under the plan, which was approved by the just-concluded 5th ordinary session of the National Assembly, Lao authorities will strive to increase the numbers of pre-school or kindergarten children to 14.6% from the current 12%, elementary school children from 68% to 87.9%, junior high school students from 53.6% to 67.6%, and high school students from the 34.8% now to 42.2%.
National Assembly member Souvanpheng Bouphanouvong, explaining the plan to the 5th session on behalf of the NA Standing Committee, added that the government will strive to increase the students/population ratio to 1,122/100,000, or 1,122 students per every 100,000 people. Authorities also aim to boost the literacy rate to 78% for people aged 15 and up, and to provide vocational training to as many as 13,860 high school graduates who have no way of pursuing higher education.
Currently nationwide, Laos has some 1,000 kindergartens, 8,740 primary schools that are able to accommodate some 900,000 students, 652 junior highs, 29 senior highs, 328 secondary schools, and some 80 vocational schools.
Over 43,000 Lao students graduated from secondary schools last year. Less than half of that number, about 20,000, was able to go on to universities.
Listen to Songrit's report for more details in Lao.