September 27, 2018 - The German government will support Laos by providing half the cost to construct the second 2-million euro Lao-German Technical College in Vientiane.
Work on the facility is set to start at the end of this year, and the Ministry of Education and Sports has selected a site within the compound of the Primary School in Xiengda village of Xaysettha district, located on the new concrete road to Lao-Thai Train Station.
The General Director of the ministry’s Department of Vocational Education, Mr Nouphanh Outsa, told Vientiane Times on phone on Tuesday the construction will be completed in the year 2019. “The construction of the school is estimated to cost 2 million euros (about US$2.3 million), with 50 percent of the cost backed by the German government,” he said.
The site at Xiengda Primary School covers three or four hectares, which is sufficient for a technical school. Most of the space is empty and part of the main building houses a small primary school.
In Xiengda village, elderly residents of Xaysettha district were happy when they learnt the second such technical college in Laos would be constructed there. A village elder, who did not want to be named, told Vientiane Times that it was very good a technical school would be built in the Xiengda school’s compound.
The elderly people of the village said they had asked a high ranking person a few years ago to set up technical schools in the area so that their children could take up more professions. They added the existing technical school is full and does not have enough seats to cater to all the students. Some elders revealed some officials had “occupied” some of the school’s land.
“The area of the school is getting smaller every year,” said one elder. “But now it’s okay. The school’s area is back to normal, as it was in the past.” With the demand for a lower secondary school, a second facility is being proposed near the train station in Xiengda village to accommodate 200 students.
But over the years, there are about 1,000 students. But the capacity of the existing Lao-German Technical College on Thadeua Road in Sisattanak district is between 600-800 students in every academic year.
The most popular subjects at the institute are automotive mechanics and electrical engineering. This year, 1,000 students applied for courses.
Several years ago, 5,000 students enrolled for training at this school but many people could not attend classes as there was no space.
Vocational education is becoming increasingly important in Laos due to strong economic growth in recent years, resulting in a higher demand for skilled workers. Strengthening vocational education will help support sustainable development of the economy, reduce poverty and back the 8th National Socio-Economic Development Plan.