Ministry Puts School Textbooks Online

Source: Vientiane Times

Teachers and students can now access books, curriculum-specified textbooks and teachers’ guidebooks used in preschool, primary and secondary schools through the and websites set up by the Ministry of Education and Sports.

An official in charge of the ministry’s Research Institute for Education Science, Mr Chanthala Philomlasard, told Vientiane Times these websites are accessible by schoolchildren and teachers throughout the country. They can download texts for free if they have an internet connection and can print them out for distribution within their school.

The books cannot be edited in any way and the authorities have issued instructions banning the sale of copies in markets.

Recognising that some schoolchildren don’t have copies of textbooks as required by the curriculum, along with a shortage of other books and teachers’ guidebooks, the Research Institute for Education Science and its development partners jointly developed these books for schoolchildren. They were put on the Ministry of Education and Sports’ website in 2011, with the content to be updated every five years.

According to the Institute, some schools in rural areas may be unable to access the websites because they don’t have computers, while some parts of the country don’t have internet connection.

The Institute says officials at district Education and Sports Offices can use their computers to access the websites and they can then provide the curriculum-required books, textbooks and teachers’ guidebooks to schools that have no means of access.

Many textbooks have been uploaded onto the websites including those on general knowledge, maths and literature for Grades 1-5 of primary school.

Textbooks for Grades 1-7 of secondary school cover literature, maths, physics, technology, history, geography, natural science, population studies, and English.

The aim of the programme is to make it easier for rural schoolchildren and teachers to improve their level of education as well as classroom teaching.

The Ministry of Education and Sports is working to bolster education and sports in target areas in a bid to close educational disparities between urban, rural and remote areas.

The education and sports sectors have requested 70 billion kip to improve the standard of education in 2016-2020, while 5 billion kip was requested for development activities in 2017.

The government designed special programmes for 2017, recognising that if literacy can be improved in rural areas then more communities will be able to escape from poverty.