National Education System

There has been a tremendous expansion of educational opportunities since 1975. The education system in Lao PDR consists of three years of cr?che, three years of kindergarten five years of primary, three years of lower secondary school and three years of upper secondary schooling followed by post-secondary education with various programmes of one to six years of duration as shown below:

the students aged 1-3 years can go to Creche;
the students aged 4-6 years can go to Kindergarten
the students aged 7-11 years can go to Primary school;
the students aged 12-14 years can to to Lower secondary school;
the students aged 15-17 years can go to Upper secondary school;
and the student over 17 years (they have already finish their study at upper secondary school) can possibly continue their further education and various levels, for example, at technical education, higher technical education or university.

This is determined by the students' ability and course requirements and/or availability.

Three type of vocational and technical schools are:

  1. Vocational schools (8+2 years), training workers, for example, at teacher education, kindergarten school, accounting and nursing school.
  2. Middle technical schools (11+3 years), training middle technicians, for example, middle polytechnic institute, Pakpasack technical school and other technical schools.
  3. Higher technical (11+3 years), training higher level technicians as shown in the chart of the National Education System in Lao PDR.
    There are parallel streams of vocational and technical education and teacher training at the secondary level (lower and upper secondary continued), each enrolling the equivalent of about two percent of the age cohort.

Out of 7,000 graduates from upper secondary education, about 700 proceed to institutes or "Universities" and about 3,500 to various technical schools and teacher training colleges for primary, secondary and vocational teacher training.  The GER at the post-secondary education including technical schools and teacher training is about five percent, while the GER for what can be regarded as higher or tertiary education is only one percent, according to data from NUOL.