Teacher Training 109
Teacher Training 7
Secondary students who want to become teachers have five options. To become a
pre-primary teacher, they can enroll in a one-year program at the end of upper
secondary school (11+1). To become a primary teacher they can enroll in a three-
year training course at the end of lower secondary school (8+3 option) or they can
enroll in a one-year training program at the end of upper secondary (11+1 option).
To teach at the lower secondary level, they can enroll in a three-year teacher train-
ing program upon completion of upper secondary school (11+3 option). To teach
upper secondary, they must enroll in the Faculty of Education at NUOL (11+4
The consolidation and strengthening of teacher training has been a national
priority throughout the 1990s, with considerable success. In the late 1980s, teacher
training was provided by 59 small training schools that had little common curricu-
lum and offered generally low quality preparation. In the mid-1990s, MOE raised
the minimum educational requirements for primary and secondary teachers and
began closing and consolidating these small schools into larger teacher training
centers. These larger centers were able to achieve economies of scale and offer a
stronger, more consistent training program. By 1998 the 59 schools had been re-
duced to 9 (plus the Faculty of Education at the university).
TTCs are under the general supervision of the Teacher Training Department
within MOE. Each school has a director who oversees the operation of the school.
The Faculty of Education at NUOL reports to MOE through the rector.
National Goals and Strategies
Among the goals established by Government in its Strategy for Educational Devel-
opment by the Year 2000, and its subsequent amendments, one was to raise teacher
quality through preservice and in-service teacher education. Implementation of
strategies to reach this goal has been a centerpiece of Government education policy
during the present five-year plan.
In the implementation of these goals, three urgent priorities in teacher train-
ing are in serious tension: ensuring a sufficient (and increasing) supply of teachers;
increasing the minimum qualifications of those entering the field; and, controlling
costs of teacher preparation. Success in any one of these three can jeopardize the
other two. Yet, all three must be achieved together.
Student Enrollments and Characteristics
The preparation of pre-primary teachers is provided at one TTC which students
can enter after completing upper secondary school. The preparation of primary and
lower secondary school teachers is done in eight TTCs, most of which offer both
110 Lao: Education Sector Development Plan
Teacher Training Institutions (1998)
Pre- Lower Upper
Primary Primary Secondary Secondary
Teachers Teachers Teachers Teachers
11+1 8+3 11+1 11+3 11+4
Pre-primary Teacher Training College
1) Dongkhamxang x x
Primary Teacher Training Schools
1) Dongkhamxang x
2) LuangNamtha x x
3) Saravan x x
Teacher Training Colleges
1) BaneKeun, Vientiane Province x x
2) Luangprabang x x x
3) Xiang Khouang x x x
4) Savannakhet x x
5) Champassack x x
National University of Lao x
Source: Compiled from MOE data.
a three-year program for students who have completed grade 8 and a one-year
program for those who have completed grade 11 (Figure 7.1). About half the school
places are reserved for students admitted under the quota system, in which a fixed
number of places are allocated to each province. The provincial education director
in each province selects those who will attend, based on grade 8 or grade 11
examination scores, school recommendations, and other considerations. The re-
maining places are filled through a competitive entrance examination developed
and administered by the Teacher Training Department. Admission to the Faculty
of Education at NUOL follows a similar procedure of splitting admissions between
quota and non-quota students.
One result of raising teacher qualifications and closing teacher training schools
is that enrollment in three-year teacher training programs dropped sharply from
about 6,000 students in 1993 to 3,000 students in 1997. Enrollment in the four-
year program through the Faculty of Education at NUOL totaled 2,863 students
for 1995/96 (MOE, 1996). Enrollment for 1996/97 was 1,509. However, intake of
new students during 1998/99 dropped to 32 students, all of whom entered through
the quota system. This dramatic drop in new admissions signals an emerging crisis
in the supply of qualified upper secondary teachers, a topic discussed in greater
detail later in this section.
In-service teacher training has been offered for three reasons. First, some
teachers do not meet the minimum education requirements for the grade level at which
they teach, in many cases because they were already employed when the minimum
education requirements were raised in the mid-1990s. In 1993, 8.7 percent of lower
Teacher Training 111
secondary teachers were untrained or had completed only five years of general
education before entering teacher training. Second, virtually all teachers needed
in-service training to learn how to teach the new integrated curriculum introduced
in the mid-1990s. Third, faced with a teacher shortage, some schools have had to
hire contract teachers who do not meet the minimum education requirements.
In-service training has been offered by (1) the Network Teacher Upgrading
Centers (NTUCs), operated as a collaboration between MOE and UNICEF, Redd Barna,
Catholic Relief Service (CRS), and Church World Service (CWS), aimed at upgrading
unqualified and under-qualified teachers; (2) NRIES, to introduce teachers to the new
curriculum; (3) the pedagogical advisers who were funded through the EDP to support
teachers’ use of the new curriculum, (4) the Teacher Development Center (TDC), to
provide general upgrading of the teaching force; and (5) by international organizations
(Redd Barna, Save the Children/UK) as part of their own collaborative programs with
MOE. The training provided by NRIES and TDC was funded under the ADB-spon-
sored Education Quality Improvement Project. Curriculum development activities of
the TDC were funded under EDP sponsored by the World Bank and managed jointly
by the Department of General Education and the Teacher Training Department.
While these various initiatives have each made a contribution, they have tended
to operate as a patchwork of unconnected and uncoordinated activities. This will
be discussed in more detail later in the Analysis section.
While most teacher trainers meet the formal qualifications for their job, few have
ever taught at the level of education for which they are training their students to
teach. For example, in one TTC, only five of 31 instructors preparing lower sec-
ondary teachers had ever actually taught at the lower secondary level. Similarly,
the Faculty of Education tends to hire its own graduates to prepare students to
teach at the upper secondary level. Only one of the instructors has actually taught
at that level. One implication is that teacher training tends to emphasize theory
and is not well grounded in the practical realities of classroom instruction.
The TTC curriculum is out of phase with the curriculum and instructional mate-
rials being produced by NRIES for use in the schools. At the time of data collection
for this study, the TTCs did not have sufficient amounts of the new school mate-
rials to distribute them to teacher trainees. For example, at the Vientiane TTC,
each instructor received only five copies of the new integrated curriculum for their
subject area; students did not receive copies of the curriculum, teachers’ guide, or
student textbook for the subject they would be teaching after graduation. Instruc-
tors placed some copies in the library for student use, but this meant that up to 100
students would have to share access to the materials they would eventually be
expected to teach. As a result, instruction at the TTCs is not well aligned with
what graduates will actually teach in the schools.
The 11+1 curriculum at the teacher training institutions teaches only peda-
gogical methods. Even in the 8+3 curriculum relatively little emphasis is given to
112 Lao: Education Sector Development Plan
upgrading students’ content knowledge in the subject areas they will teach. The
TTCs assume that students already learned the needed content during their own
secondary education. This assumption is questionable, given the low quality of the
prior education many of the trainees received and the new content knowledge
demands on teachers posed by the new integrated curriculum.
TTC officials observed that part of the problem was the integrated nature of
the curriculum. TTC instructors were trained as subject area specialists. Many of
them were unsure how to teach the integrated materials, because they, themselves,
were unsure of the content. For example, the English text describes how to conduct
a science experiment. If instructors do not have the necessary background in science,
they risk embarrassment by being unable to respond to student questions.
The curriculum for in-service training is largely driven by the curriculum and
textbook development activities of MOE. The focus of has also been on the peda-
gogical skills necessary to teach the new integrated curriculum. To date, in-service
teachers have not received upgrading in the content knowledge necessary to teach
the new curriculum.
Grade 8 and 11 graduates (non-quota) take an entrance examination as the basis
of admission to a teacher training program. Progress through the program is based
on the credit system. There is no overall final examination. Rather, students are
graded in each course and each course is worth a designated number of credits.
Eligibility to graduate is based on passing enough courses to accumulate a sufficient
number of credits. However, districts generally require teachers to pass an exami-
nation as part of applying for a teaching position. Reports from the field indicate
that, as schools are experiencing serious teacher shortages, districts are more flexible
about the scores they will accept.
Facilities and Equipment
TTCs have received new facilities, upgrading of existing facilities, and new equipment
through the Education Quality Improvement Project. However, TTC officials still
express concern over the inadequate state of laboratories, libraries, and classrooms.
Costs, Financing and Donor Support
Teacher education is one of the most expensive programs offered by MOE (Table
7.1). The high unit cost is due, in part, to the cost of boarding the students at the
teacher training institutes (Table 7.2). However, even if the boarding (student
welfare) costs are removed, the unit cost of teacher training is still more than three
times that of upper secondary.
Some of that cost can be justified, in that TTCs should have sufficient amounts
of current instructional materials, a well-stocked library, and laboratories in which
teachers can practice the demonstrations and experiments they will eventually do
in their schools. However, if these conditions are not met and costs are still high,
it poses a serious financial problem for MOE.
Teacher Training 113
Estimated Recurrent Cost of Education by Level of Schooling
Unit Cost in
Student Enrollment* Unit Cost in kip Per Capita GDP
94/95 96/97 94/95 96/97 94/95 96/97
Pre-primary 27,658 29,799 39,627 44,800 0.15 0.10
Primary 696,706 770,702 19,839 24,524 0.08 0.06
Lower Secondary 110,593 136,312 43,601 46,129 0.17 0.11
Upper Secondary 42,352 47,755 48,403 55,282 0.18 0.1
Technical/Vocational 9,481 3,164 251,767 252,528 0.96 0.58
Teacher Training 4,065 3,006 313,899 237,192 1.20 0.54
Higher Education 6,936 11,978 247,116 182,508 0.94 0.42
* Note: Student Enrollment is for public schools only
Source: Mingat, A. (1998a).
Allocation of Costs for Teacher Training, 1996/97
Category of Cost Expenditure in kip Percent
Teacher Salaries 97,804 41.2%
Non-teacher Salaries 38,922 16.4%
Operations and Pedagogical Cost 30,273 12.8%
Student Welfare 62,541 26.4%
Administration 7,652 3.2%
Total 237,192 100%
Source: Mingat, A. (1998a)
Another reason for the high cost is the low student/teacher ratio in TTCs,
which averages about 8-10 students per teacher. In part, this is due to the need to
have content specialists across all the subject areas. However, it means that teach-
ers are sometimes under-utilized since there are not enough classes in each subject
area to fill the entire teaching schedule. Increasing the enrollment at the TTCs
(while maintaining current staffing levels) is one way to lower unit costs of instruc-
tion. However, TTC instructors also spend considerable time working with stu-
dents on an individual basis. Careful attention should be given to whether student/
teacher ratios could be increased without harming the one-to-one attention that
some instructors give to their students.
Despite the good intentions and dedication of the instructors at the TTCs,
four factors suggest that the quality and relevance of instruction during teacher
114 Lao: Education Sector Development Plan
training is low. First, students at TTCs do not have copies of the curriculum,
teachers’ guides, or student textbooks for the subjects they will eventually be
teaching in the school. Second, the emphasis of the training is on pedagogical
methods rather than on strengthening students’ knowledge of their subject area.
For example, in the 11+1 program, no attention is given to content preparation.
In the 8+3 programs some attention is given to content but that is not well
aligned with the content they will later teach in the schools. Third, TTC officials
point out that instructors do not fully understand how to teach the new integrated
curriculum. While both content and pedagogical methods are necessary,
international experience suggests that strong subject area expertise is absolutely
essential to effective teaching. Fourth, most TTC teachers have never taught
secondary school and may not fully understand the practical issues associated
with classroom management and delivery of instruction.
The various in-service activities of MOE Teacher Training Department,
NRIES, the Department of General Education, the pedagogical advisers, and
various international agencies have tended to operate separately from each
other, giving the appearance of a patchwork of unconnected efforts. With
one notable exception, the internal efficiency of these training activities has
been limited for reasons discussed below.
The most successful in-service program appears to be the collaborative effort of
the Teacher Training Department of MOE and UNICEF in operating the NTUCs.
There is now an NTUC in nine provinces. Each provides a two-year program in
which under-qualified teachers attend a six-week training session in the first year
and a four-week training session in the second year (scheduled for vacation
periods). Between sessions they are visited by NTUC trainers who answer
questions and advise the teachers and make sure teachers are completing
assignments that were given out at the training sessions. The training uses materials
specially developed by UNICEF which are tied to the new curriculum and provide
upgrading in both subject content and teaching methods.
Participating teachers receive transportation and a small per diem (but no
compensation for foregone income). As an incentive to the teachers’ schools,
UNICEF provides a small amount of roofing materials, nails, silk screens, or
library boxes, depending on the need. The NTUCs are staffed by a total of
about 400 trainers selected from their province on the basis of their own
expertise as teachers. Evidence to date suggests this system has been success-
ful. In this respect, it stands as an exception within the in-service efforts that
have operated over the last five years. Other in-service efforts have encoun-
tered more difficulty.
Teacher Training 115
The in-service training offered through NRIES to introduce the new inte-
grated curriculum is viewed by many (in the central ministry, the schools,
and in other international agencies) as unsuccessful. The training attempted
to cover seven subject areas in two weeks. This resulted in teachers having
about 5-10 hours of instruction in how to teach a full year of material in each
subject area. Many teachers did not have sufficient expertise in the content
of the new materials and many teachers did not receive copies of the curricu-
lum or textbooks on which they were being trained. The result is that, while
many teachers received the training, it did little to improve their classroom
d) Teacher Development Center
Though the TDC has offered in-service training to teachers since it was started
in 1992, its production of curriculum and instructional materials to support
that training was delayed. Only in its final three months of operation in 1998
has it been able to send 259 titles to the printer. One concern is that current
funding will end before those materials are distributed or teachers trained to
use them and no recurrent budget (beyond staff salaries) has been provided
to continue TDC activities. One consequence of the delay in preparation of
their training materials is that the in-service activities of TDC have had a
low profile among other groups working on in-service teacher training.
e) Teacher Training for Multigrade Classrooms
One of the main causes of student dropout at the primary level is incomplete
schools. Up to 60 percent of primary schools offer only grades 1-3. Once students
complete these grades, they do not have access to grades 4-5. One strategy for
addressing this problem is to prepare teachers already in the incomplete schools
to teach multigrade classes and then to shift one or more teachers to teach grades
4 and 5 curriculum while the others teach grades 2 and 3 curriculum. It may be
necessary to reduce overall intake of grade 1 students to keep multigrade classes
at a reasonable size. Alternatively, it may be possible for the district to assign an
additional teacher to the school. If an incomplete school can be made complete
school for only the cost of an additional teacher, this strategy offers MOE a cost-
effective way to improve student flow through the system.
f) Relationship Between Teacher Training and
Officials in DVTHE have expressed interest in a long-term plan that would
consolidate vocational/technical training and teacher training into the same
facilities at the provincial level. While the arrangements offer cost savings,
international experience suggests such an arrangement also has risk. It could
further diminish the teacher supply. When Thailand merged vocational and
116 Lao: Education Sector Development Plan
technical education and teacher training into the same institutions, it re-
sulted in teacher trainees shifting to vocational tracks from a belief they were
enhancing their career options. A similar pattern is observed at NUOL. The
merger of the Institute of Pedagogy in 1996 into the larger university framework
provided education students with a wider range of course options; however,
enrollment in the Faculty of Education at the end of the Foundation Studies
course dropped to 32 students in 1998.
One of the most urgent issues in teacher training is the projected shortfall in the
supply of qualified teachers. If urgent action is not taken, current projections sug-
gest a shortfall of over 4,000 teachers by 2001/02. The following analysis provides
the basis for that projection.
a) Teacher Supply and Demand
While overall teacher supply at the primary level appears to meet demand,
there is a serious problem of teacher allocation. Some provinces are experi-
encing a teacher shortage while others have a surplus. If the growth in new
grade one enrollment remains at its 1996/97 rate of 3.8 percent, teacher supply
can probably keep up with demand if MOE can resolve the teacher allocation
problem. One way to do this is to train only quota teachers from those prov-
inces that have an undersupply so that when they return home at the end of
training, they are returning to high need areas.
Serious teacher shortages are projected at the secondary level, due largely to
the sharp increases in enrollment. From 1995/96 to 1996/97, new enrollment
in lower primary increased by 21 percent while new enrollment in upper
secondary increased by 27 percent.
b) Teacher Shortage at the Secondary Level
The current student progression rates (Table 7.3) can be used in combina-
tion with current primary school enrollments to estimate how many students
will be entering lower and secondary school over the next 5-10 years. Pro-
jections of student enrollment increases at both lower and upper secondary
levels for selected years between 1999 and 2005 are provided in Table 7.4.
These estimates should be recalculated when 1998/99 data are available. Any
successes MOE achieves in reducing grade repetition, lowering dropout, or
improving examination pass rates will increase the estimated number of stu-
dents with a corresponding demand for more teachers. The jump in projected
enrollments in lower secondary in 2001/02 and in upper secondary in 2004/
05 reflects the Government’s success in increasing the percent of children
enrolling in school (the participation rate) during the early 1990s.
Teacher Training 117
Student Progression Rates for Grades 1-11 (including examination pass rates)
(MOE Data through 1997/98)
Grade 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Grad
Progression Rate (%) 100 86 78 87 85 65 94 61 55 72 72 91%
Cohort of 100 100 86 67 58 50 32 29 18 10 7 5 4.6
Source: Data for primary school progression rates and cycle to cycle transition rates (primary to lower secondary and
lower to upper secondary are from Mingat, A. (1998a). Data from lower and upper secondary progression rates was
computed using from data drawn from Annual Bulletins for 1993/94 through 1997/97 (MOE, 1998e) provided by the
Statistics Department, MOE.
Projected Enrollments in Lower and Upper Secondary Schools
1999/00 to 2004/05
Projected Enrollment Projected Enrollment
Year Lower Secondary Upper Secondary
1996/97 (actual) 133,891 46,269
1999/00 155,894 38,185
2000/01 159,492 39,133
2001/02 201,742 41,595
Source: Computed using 1996/97 enrollment statistics from MOE and grade progression rates reported in other tables
in this section.
These enrollment projections are used to estimate the number of teachers
who will be needed each year over the next 5-10 years. However, teacher
supply is influenced by two main factors: the number of teachers who leave
teaching each year due to such factors as retirement, death, or accepting a
new job; and, the number of new teachers graduating from teacher training
programs each year who then go into teaching. Informal evidence suggests
that teacher attrition has increased sharply during the 1998/99 school year
in response to the delays in salary payments and the 100 percent inflation
The number of new teachers entering teaching each year based on the num-
ber of graduates from teacher training institutions is hard to estimate. In 1996/
97, there were 498 graduates of the 8+3 programs and 370 graduates of the
11+1 programs. Conversations with MOE and teacher training officials in-
dicate that over half of these 868 graduates never enter teaching, but choose
to take other employment. For purposes of projecting teacher supply, only
half of the graduates were assumed to enter teaching. Furthermore, not all
will go into lower secondary; most will enter primary teaching. Since lower
secondary enrollments are 23 percent of the combined primary and lower
118 Lao: Education Sector Development Plan
secondary enrollment, it was assumed that 23 percent of these graduates would
go into lower secondary teaching. This means that about 150 new qualified
teachers would enter lower secondary teaching each year.
The overall impact of new teachers entering the profession is offset by the
number leaving each year. For purposes of this projection it was assumed that
the number of teachers leaving each year can be distributed across the levels
of the education system in the same proportion as the percent of the teaching
force currently working at that level. That means that about 172 of those
leaving each year would be from the lower secondary level. When the num-
ber of new teachers (+150) is adjusted for the number of those leaving (-
172), it appears that the number of qualified teachers is declining by about
22 teachers a year.
The most immediate impact is that the number of students per lower second-
ary teacher will increase. If no policy intervention occurs, the ratio could go
from 17:1 in 1996/97 to 26:1 by 2001/02. If MOE wanted to increase the
number of students per teacher to 20/1 and then maintain that level through
the year 2001/02, it would need to have 10,087 teachers by that year or 2,357
more than are estimated to be available from the present teacher training
system. Even if all graduates of teacher training schools entered the profes-
sion, the estimated number of available teachers in 2001/02 would only be
8,330, still a shortage of over 1,750 teachers. This indicates a serious problem
in teacher supply at the lower secondary level over the next five years. Since
it takes at least three years to train a new secondary teacher, teachers who
will enter the teaching force in 2001/02 would have had to enter a teacher
training program by 1998.
At the upper secondary level, the same type of estimation suggests that the
teaching force will grow by 124 new teachers each year, more than enough
to keep up with rising student enrollments. At that rate of increase, the number
of students per teacher is likely to drop from 16:1 in 1996/97 to about 12:1
in 2001/02, but then climb to 15:1 by 2004/05 as the larger student enroll-
ments start to enter upper secondary. Potentially, some upper secondary teach-
ers could be redeployed to the lower secondary level to handle the projected
However, the sharp drop in intake of new students at the Faculty of Education
(only 32 new students in 1998/99) suggests the estimates of teacher supply are
overly optimistic. While MOE has been trying to raise the student/teacher ratio
in upper secondary, a ratio of 25:1 is probably too high (since it is an average and
some classes are likely to be much larger). Current projections suggest that schools
will end up with larger class sizes than are intended under MOE policy.
One reason for the projected teacher shortage at the lower secondary level
is that the conditions of service are widely seen as unattractive. Salaries are
low compared to other jobs needing similar or less education, salaries are not
Teacher Training 119
always paid on time, teachers can be assigned to remote locations away from
family and friends, and teachers can not resign without permission from MOE.
Access and Equity
The quota system has been important in helping to assure access to teacher train-
ing opportunities to students from across the country. Within provinces, however,
the allocation of quota places is not always equitable but is subject to a range of
other influences. For example, one senior secondary school in Vientiane Province
received two quota places while another school of comparable size but closer to the
PES received 15. While the overall system serves an important purpose, it may be
possible to improve the allocation of quota positions within provinces.
The distribution of teachers by ethnic minority status is not available. How-
ever, school visits indicate that teacher assignment works best if communities re-
ceive teachers from their own ethnic minority. Since some ethnic minority areas
are those with the greatest need for additional teachers, it is important that TTCs
concentrate on recruiting and training ethnic minority students who can most
successfully serve these areas. There are now enough ethnic minority students
graduating from secondary school to make this feasible. This will be one of the
issues addressed in the Basic Education (Girls) Project.
Administration, Management and Financing
The administration and management of TTCs has been streamlined over the last
five years by the consolidation of 59 training institutions down to nine. This has
been an important and largely successful effort to increase the efficiency of teacher
The impact of teacher training on the education budget of most countries is
dramatic. Not only is the initial training expensive, but it increases the recurrent
education budget as teachers, once trained, are eligible for increased salaries. If the
training is effective and results in improved teaching and learning, the investment
may be worthwhile. If the training is not effective, its impact on the recurrent budget
can do more harm than good to the education system. Lao PDR has an advantage
in preservice teacher training. Its relatively flat salary structure means that the
recurrent cost implications of teacher training are not as great as in many other
countries. Training teachers does not result in large increases in recurrent cost.
Nonetheless, the initial cost is high and made higher by the proportion of
graduates who do not go into teaching. Serious consideration needs to be given to
how the training system can become more cost-effective. One way is to increase
the quality of the instruction without a concomitant increase in costs. This could
be done by: having students directly work with the materials they will eventually
be required to teach in the schools; spending more time upgrading students’ con-
tent knowledge, thereby better preparing them to handle the content demand of
the new curriculum (this would not lower costs, but might result in more value for
the money being spent); implementing mechanisms to assess teacher performance
as a way of identifying those that should be given special in-service support; or,
training principals in effective instructional supervision.
120 Lao: Education Sector Development Plan
A second approach would be to increase student/teacher ratios at the TTCs.
This would lower unit costs, though it would not necessarily improve the quality
of instruction. Nonetheless, given the projected teacher shortage, this option needs
to be seriously considered. A third approach to improve the return on the invest-
ment in teacher training is to help ensure that those who graduate go into teaching.
With up to half the graduates not entering teaching, the cost per graduate for those
actually entering teaching is high. Strategies for accomplishing this are discussed
in the recommendation section below.
Perhaps the most serious cost problem at present is the drop in new intake
at the Faculty of Education at NUOL. Efforts to increase enrollments need to be
accelerated. If the Faculty of Education continues to attract low numbers of enter-
ing students, it will be hard to justify continued funding of such an expensive
program. At that point the upper secondary teacher training program might be
moved to the TTCs and the Faculty of Education facilities reallocated to higher
demand areas of study at NUOL. Other faculties of NUOL might still provide some
specialized courses for upper secondary teacher preparation.
The financing of in-service education is a central concern of MOE. MOE
recognizes its importance but is unable to provide recurrent budget support to
continue some of the current MOE-based initiatives. One area of optimism, how-
ever, is that one of the least expensive in-service programs appears to be one of the
most effective. The NTUC program operated by the Teacher Training Department
and UNICEF keeps costs down by using master teachers already in the provinces
as trainers, keeping most of the program administration and delivery of training
located in each province, and providing school incentives that meet other educa-
tional needs (roofing materials, etc.). The collaboration with UNICEF has pro-
vided a stable mechanism for oversight of field operations and offers a model that
should be considered in designing future in-service initiatives.
While the TDC appears to have developed useful materials, it has not had
the intended impact on improving the quality of classroom instruction in the schools.
After six years of operation, its training materials were still not available for use in
the schools. The TDC experience raises two issues in project planning and imple-
mentation relevant to preparation of the next five-year plan. First, the delay in
producing training materials until the last three months of external funding sug-
gests that the emphasis of the TDC was on designing materials rather than on
getting them into use. While some of the problem was a result of delays in the
delivery of equipment; some of the problems appear to be in the management of
the work flow. Second, the lack of recurrent funds to continue the effort suggests
a lapse in MOE planning, or an MOE judgement that in-service is not an urgent
need or a MOE assessment that the TDC was ineffective. The reasons for the delay
in materials production and use need to be clarified before seeking further external
funding for TDC activities.
Teacher Training 121
7.3 Suggested Priorities and Recommendations
Priority 1 Strengthen and Expand In-Service Teacher Training
If instructional quality is to improve in primary and secondary schools, it will need
to be through the upgrading of teachers already in the schools. Four factors make
this urgent. First, the intake of new teachers into the system is too slow to have a
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