SEAMEO Border Schools Project Inception Workshop 2-4 April 2019, Vientiane Capital, Lao PDR

Border schools
Representatives from SEAMEO Regional Centres, International Organizations and government staff from the Ministry of Education and Sports of Lao PDR and Ministry of Education and Culture of Indonesia at the SEAMEO Border Schools Project Inception Workshop on Promoting Inclusive and Accessible Quality Education on 2-4 April 2019, at Vansana Riverside Hotel, Vientiane Capital, Lao PDR

SEAMEO CED hosted a 3 day workshop from 2-4 April 2019 at Vansana Riverside Hotel, Vientiane Capital, Lao PDR in collaboration with the SEAMEO Secretariat and     SEAMEO Regional Centres on how to promote inclusive and accessible quality education in Border Schools of SEAMEO member countries. The Border schools project is an Inter-Centre Collaboration Project under SEAMEO Priority No 2 “Addressing Barriers to Inclusion”.

As a land locked country, Lao PDR provides a unique starting point to develop a project that has potential for regional impact for SEAMEO member countries. The inception workshop aimed to draw out global and regional learning to assist border schools by:

  • identifying opportunities and constraints
  • identifying innovations and regional best practice (from SEAMEO Centres)
  • developing a collaborative project methodology and activities that can be piloted in Lao PDR

    Sangthong

    Workshop participants at Samphanna Lower Secondary School on 3 April 2019, Vientiane Capital, Lao PDR

    Along with SEAMEO Regional Centres (SEAMEO BIOTROP, SEAMEO INNOTECH, SEAMEO QITEP in Mathematics, SEAMEO QITEP in Science, SEAMEO SEAMOLEC, SEAMEO SEN and SEAMEO TROPMED Network/Thailand) and Lao and Thai border schools, the workshop involved participants from the Ministry of Education and Sports of Lao PDR, Ministry of Education and Culture of Indonesia, and international organizations including aid and donor programs.

    Day 1 provided participants with an opportunity to hear directly from school teachers, principals, and representatives from District and Provincial Education and Sports Services on the specific challenges of border schools from Bokeo, Huaphan, Champasak Provinces and Vientiane Capital as well as school in Nongkhai, Thailand. SEAMEO Regional Centres also shared their best practice across the region that could be applied to border schools. Day 2 involved a visit to Samphanna Lower Secondary School, Sangthong District, Vientiane Capital to meet with teachers and students. During the school visit, participants were able to interact directly with school teachers and students. Day 3 focused on synthesising day 1 and 2 and included a shared planning session to develop a collaborative methodology for the Border Schools Project.

    The sharing of experiences and ideas has created not only many new activities that SEAMEO Centres and Border Schools could collaborate on but also established new relationships and skills to promote inclusive and accessible quality education. Some activities are focused on improving human resource capacity in multi-grade teaching and school management. Other examples included the building of school gardens that can potentially incorporate teacher training and student engagement in the areas of science, mathematics and ICT.

    A workshop report and project plans will be developed from the workshop activities.