Batch 1 civil works, which included LSE school building as well as separate, sex-segregated toilet blocks, have been completed and are operational. Batch 2 civil works comprised construction of the remaining 18 new LSE schools, along with provision of 2 sex-segregated toilet buildings and 60 dormitories, and 15 USE schools (including sex-segregated toilet blocks and 15 dormitories) have been awarded. As of July 2015, all facilities have been fully completed.
Building design of USE facilities only involved minor modifications of the LSE facility design (that will ensure access to disabled children). USE schools were bid out along with LSE schools. As of July 30, 2015, 33 packages were completed including 33 schools and 75 dormitories and 63 Toilets. All of these facilities are being utilized.
For the initial 12 LSE schools covered in Batch 1, furniture procurement has been incorporated into contracts principally for Batch 1 civil works, and all SESDP-funded school buildings. Classrooms had been fully furnished and turned-over to school management and are currently being used. For Batch 2, the SESDP Team adopted the merging of civil works and furniture packages (split across 2 cost categories), where furniture packages were delivered along with packages for school facilities construction. This is 100% completed to date.
To support SSSP implementation, the SESDP Team in close coordination with the IEC, designed a baseline study methodology to establish LSE and USE baseline in 30 districts. The LSE and USE baseline was conducted in parallel and in close coordination with the school network mapping activity under activity area 3A2. LSE and USE stipend baseline study, focused on identifying stipend recipients for the LSE portion of the SSSP under activity areas 1B2 and 1B4.
The Baseline Study was completed with IEC as the lead implementing unit in mid-May 2014. Stipends recipients have been determined and baseline data was established in 30 districts, with the major milestone of stipends payment completed in October-December 2014. IEC ensured the full participation and involvement of the community in the selection process by asking the school principals to prioritize the list of beneficiaries with VEDC and PPA representatives. Number of stipend beneficiaries under SESDP are as follows: (i) LSE 1740: Girls 941 (54%); Boys 799. Total LSE replacements if 51; (ii) USE 1196: Girls 591 ( 49.41%); Boys 605. Total USE replacements is 43.
The USE and LSE components of the SSSP started in SY2014/15. As noted in activity area 1B2, both components were covered under a singular SSSP Guidelines, which included detailed demarcation of distinctions between the two components. The list of stipends recipients was completed per process described in Activity 1B2 . Total USE stipend beneficiaries equal to 1,196 M5 students; 591 are female (49.41%), 1,068 (89%) ethnic.
33 packages including dormitories were 100% completed and handed over to schools. The SESDP Team in close collaboration with DSE and IEC developed the guidelines for dormitory management approved by the ADB in June 2014. The guideline which included the roles of school staff and the broader community, was finalized in consultation workshops held from November 2012 to March 2013. In May 2015 , a mini-survey of the number of students using the LSE and USE dormitories was conducted and reported that there were 2643 students residents ( 67.7% of occupation) ,1286 were female ( 65.8% of female occupation).
The SESDP Team supported the DSE and IEC in completing the guidelines for both the LSE and USE School Access Grant Program (SAGP), packaged as an SAGP Manual , via a series of consultation workshops. The SAGP Manual was approved by MOES after ADB's approval in July 2014, and presented in a series of bi-annual congress participated in by 88 principals, 55 PPA members and 26 VEDC members from 100 SESDP-supported schools.
75 SAGP proposals have been received to date, based on school improvement plans (SIPs) which were also a requirement for SAGP submission, with funds transferred to date to 73 schools, except Ban Kor USE, Saysathane District, Sayabouly Province and Chaleunsay USE Sansay District, Attapeu Province. By the beginning of the SY 2015-16, all SAGP funds will be transferred to all schools.
Graduate Teacher Placement Scheme (GTPS) targeted and deployed 26 newly graduated LSE science teachers teaching either physics and math, or chemistry and biology placed in 13 schools in the same 5 districts to be covered by activity 2B4. Of 26 teachers, 13 are female (50%), while 16 are from ethnic groups (61.5%). The GTPS design tried to ensure that the scheme meets related GAP and EGP targets (at least 50% females and 80% ethnic group teachers), however the ethnicity target was not met due to the fact that some of the areas are not mostly populated by ethnic groups thus 39 teachers were added in the GTPS program to provide more coverage for the trial scheme and at the same time meet the ethnicity requirement. Based on the DOP summary report, out of the 39 ethnic (100%) candidates, 21 or 53.84% are female. Of the total 65 GTPS beneficiaries, 34 (52%) are female, while 55 (85%) are from ethnic groups.
SESDP has supported development of draft guidelines for teacher recruitment and utilization planning, as required under policy action T1.(ii).3; and under the second thrust on TPME, the SESDP Team has supported DOP's drafting of the guidelines and operational manual on teacher performance M&E, as required for policy action T1.(ii).4. Both the ATRUP (Decree No. 0047 dated January 7, 2014) and TPME (Decree No. 1811 dated December 5, 2013) guidelines were approved and signed by the MOES in fulfillment of the 2013 policy conditions.
Discussions with DSE, DTE and RIES on the development of a portfolio of content and materials for science subjects intended to support SES science teachers to master learner-centered pedagogy in their subjects, use locally available materials to conduct experiments where lab equipment is limited, etc., are currently ongoing. The draft action plan has been prepared and will be finalized as soon as the M6 teacher training is completed.
The ICT4E support package includes (i) print: In-service training manual (hard copy); curriculum guide/syllabus; Multi-media: Video CD/DVD of adapted school-based management ; and Learner-centered materials; Shift happens to signal the urgent need to integrate changes into the curriculum and the delivery scheme; (ii) Online: The same materials, including e-versions of the teacher guides will be posted online; (iii) Broadcast: the Souksamai TV and Souksamai radio shows are now being reformatted to include SESDP in-service training modules. RIES now has its own FB Page, https://www.facebook.com/pages/RIES-Research-Institute-for-Educational-Sciences/440946249281429 to webcast learning materials, including online learning support system for peer learning for SPAs.
The Teacher Upgrade Grant guideline was finalized in April 2014, and related workshops to complete summer upgrading curriculum have been conducted. The TUG implementation started in 2014, with 30 science teacher beneficiaries from remote lower secondary schools from 30 disadvantaged districts with 11+3 qualifications. Of the 30 beneficiaries, 17 (or 54%) are female and 24 (or 80%) are ethnic.
PMU will provide before the end of 30 September 2015 an update on confirmed distribution of M1-M6 textbooks and teacher guides to all SESDP-constructed LSE schools and USE classroom.
Procurement of arts and music kits for 45 SESDP-constructed schools/classroom blocks ongoing.
The Project, in close coordination and cooperation with the World Bank-supported FTI project, provided assistance to the Education Statistics Center (ESC)/MOES in developing the school network mapping (SNM) methodology, which covered supply and demand aspects for both primary and secondary education, and assisted the ESC in developing the SNM approach using Quantum Geographic Information System (GIS) software. District level school network maps have been completed during a series of roll-out workshops in clusters of provinces in June-August 2013, with the final consolidation workshop conducted on September 2013. A total of 1,032 participants have been trained, including 159 female staff. The school network maps of the 30 BESDP districts were used in informing decision on the selection of sites for the 15 USE classroom blocks, and have fed into and/or link with other processes (e.g., LSE and USE baseline work under sub-output 1B). The SNM report has been completed and has been submitted to the ADB to comply with the policy condition on SNM. The developed SNM software is currently being used by the ESC and is shared with development partners (such as JICA and the US Embassy) who request for information to determine school building investment priorities. MOES Decree No.1842/MOES/2013 dated 31 December 2013 on school network mapping was developed by the MOES with SESDP support.
Focus on communication work includes the following: (i) reform/policy-level shifts, as well as (ii) related advocacy (e.g., to raise awareness of ongoing SES curricular and structural reforms to ensure efficacy of the MOES' new policy and strategy on inclusive education, etc.). The SESDP Team assisted relevant MOES institutions in drafting the communication strategy, through a series of workshops and meetings. The Communication Strategy to Support the Education Reform Agenda (2013-2020) was signed by the Minister in January 2014 No.: 5774/MOES dated 31 December 2013. A copy was submitted to the ADB in January 2014 in fulfillment of the 2013 policy conditions.
Communication strategy including communication materials for radio, social media, TV and print has been prepared, and training of PESS and DESB officers on roles and functions completed.
Under capacity development programs, a series of focus group meetings and one workshop were conducted to support a policy dialogue to revise the existing decree on private education, and mobilization of private (including non-profit) actors' support to SES. The draft decree has been submitted to the Ministry of Justice and revisions are ongoing.
The SESDP Team has supported MOES in drafting the Policy on ICT for Lao Education signed by the Minister per MOES Decree No 5776/ES/2013 dated 31 December 2013. The document was also submitted to ADB to substantiate policy condition fulfillment. Policy formulation was completed through a series of consultation workshops with the MOES partners, DPOs and other stakeholders. Currently in the works is the drafting of the ICT strategy which will be presented in a series of workshop consultation to fulfill Tranche 2 policy conditions.
Provision of the school block grant policy has been discussed and agreed upon among stakeholders in various workshops supported by the SESDP. The draft policy was presented by DOF to Focus Group 3 meeting. Based on FG 3 comments, the draft policy was revised and updated by the DOF and approved by MOES in June 2015.
Capacity of pupil-parent associations (PPAs) will be strengthened via the bi-annual workshops with the 100 SESDP schools as outlined in the draft Institutional Assessment Report and the School Based Management Handbook. The BAC will address the capacity building of PPAs. Specific capacity building and training interventions with them are outlined in the SBM Handbook.
The database system for the student census for school years 2012/13 and 2013/14 are in place with the assignment of unique student numbers. The capacity building workshop for the 3rd round census was conducted on May 18, 2015 and was attended by 61 EMIS staff from the various districts of whom 16 were female.