On 1 October a new and unique educational facility opens in Luang Prabang, the LEOT English Learning Centre. A purpose built Centre, with state of the art facilities and all graduate teaching staff, it will serve the needs of the underprivileged young adults who cannot afford fees to attend the existing language schools , by offering totally free enrolment and teaching.
The parent and funding body, LEOT (Lao Educational Opportunities Trust) has been operating in Laos for 6 years offering a scholarship programme, enabling young people to study at College and University. At any one time it has 20-25 students on its programe (see www.leot.org.uk)
The new Centre is funded by voluntary donations; mostly from UK but also, Australia, Canada and Japan. It will cost about $160 to fund a student for a year. Classes will be small and interactive with native speakers supporting the core Lao teaching staff. Initially teaching will be at Beginners’ and Intermediate levels, and in 2013 an Advanced class is planned for which it is hoped to receive international recognition. The courses will be part time, enabling students to work and/or undertake other study opportunities.
It is also hoped to develop some commercial activity with the Centre offering tailor-made Language courses to local business and other organisations. In this way it is hoped to serve the needs of the business community as well as well at the needs of individuals.
The acquisition of English Language skills is crucial to the career development of many workers in government, business and tourism but hitherto has been beyond the means of many young people. For once, the poorest students will be at the front of the queue for the best facilities!
The Opening Ceremony will be held on 16 September and those wishing to attend can get details from Admin@lelclaos.org . Anyone wishing just to drop by or to offer their services in some way will be made welcome. More details of the Centre can be found on www.lelclaos.org.