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School-based management in Lao PDR: current conditions and recommendations for the future

By: Lucrecia Santibanez

March 11, 2014

Key Findings

A World Bank study explains how school-based management can help improve education quality.

  • Lao PDR's education system faces challenges in meeting its goals of providing all students with access to education and improving learning outcomes. While the government increased spending on education, it is facing challenges.

  • One of the challenges is that the level of ‘non-wage, public recurrent expenditure’--- which pays for school materials, equipment, teacher training, and more--- is still low. As such, families still shoulder most of the spending for these in schools. The lack of education resources result into few learning materials and low quality facilities.

  • In 2011, the government instituted a School Block Grant program to help improve education quality. This provides schools with resources (on a per student basis) to be used for non-wage expenditures on the things that matter most. It also gives provinces, districts and schools greater administrative control so they can improve educational administration and schooling quality.

  • As this initiative is at its early stage, challenges encountered include the limited local capacity of schools to manage budgetary allocations. The study provides suggestions, such as local capacity building, improving the timeliness of fund delivery, and improving accountability mechanisms.