An update for the education system in Lao

Computers have become indispensable in our everyday lives - even in everyday school life. Lao, one of the world's poorest countries, lags substantially with regards to including computers in their classrooms. Together with the Education for Development Fund (EDF Lao) and other partners in Lao, we’re trying to reduce this gap with the EELMM project. EELMM stands for "Enhancing English Learning through Momosign and Microcomputer".

Generally speaking, the EELMM project consists of two components that are crucial to the country of Lao:

  • the promotion of the use of modern information and communication technology (ICT) in the schools of Lao and
  • improving the English skills of both Laotian students and teachers with a new, unique methodology.

Most classes in Lao today are based on traditional 'teacher-centered' instruction, which degrades students to mainly passive recipients. Modern, successful teaching should overcome these hurdles. So back in 2014, EDF Lao and Association Basmati agreed on first steps to be taken in order to improve both the students' academic performance and new, interesting forms of teaching for teachers. A pilot project, co-funded by Association Basmati, was conducted over a few months with a positive outcome.

With the "IT for Laos" campaign, Association Basmati then collected hundreds of computer monitors, computers, keyboards and computer mice across Switzerland and shipped them to Lao, where they were given a second life. Meanwhile, EDF Lao substantiated the learning content for the program and found a novel and promising concept for learning the English language in Lao through the methodology of Momosign. Both students and teachers alike can benefit from this new way of teaching and learning.

Meanwhile, EELMM has been officially running since spring 2016. By the end of 2017, up to 170 schools will be equipped with computer/mini-computer sets. With low costs per school and used hardware from Switzerland, EDF Lao and the Association Basmati are enabling a technologization of everyday life in Lao that takes the education system of this Southeast Asian country to a new level.

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