October 13, 2023
VIENTIANE – The Railway Vocational and Technical College, the first of its kind in Laos, was officially opened on Thursday to train personnel for jobs on the Laos-China railway.
President Thongloun Sisoulith attended the opening ceremony of the college, which is situated on a 14-hectare site in Phonkham village, Xaythany district, Vientiane, funded by a grant from the Chinese government.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Director General of the Technical Vocational Education Department of the Ministry of Education and Sports, Mr Nouphan Outsa, said the college was an important contribution to the training of personnel for efficient operation of the railway.
Senior officials from Laos and China were in agreement on the need for a training centre so that Lao nationals could be employed on the railway, he added.
The college is also another symbol of the growing friendship and strategic partnership between Laos and China.
Construction began in September 2021, with the design and construction of the building undertaken by Chinese companies.
Prior to the opening of the college, some 360 applicants passed the entrance exams and will now take courses on train driving, station services, electrical repairs and maintenance, and other railway operations.
Director of the Railway Vocational and Technical College, Mr Bounyalith Khanthachack, said the college is fully prepared to receive the first batch of 360 students.
The college comprises lecture rooms, practical training facilities, an administrative building, a library, canteen, student dormitory and other facilities.
Courses will be taught by Chinese and Lao teachers who have received training on railway operations in China.
The Ministry of Education and Sports is encouraging students who have finished secondary school to enrol in various fields of vocational education to support the country’s socio-economic development needs.
Scholarships have been provided for outstanding students, including those lacking opportunities, people from smaller ethnic groups, females, and people with disabilities.
More than 25 vocational technical institutions under the Ministry of Education and Sports, and 170 technical and vocational education and training centres, currently offer courses leading to diplomas and higher diplomas, and short-term training courses.
More than 80,000 graduates from vocational technical institutions in the fields of agriculture, industry and other services are needed to meet the needs of the labour market, according to the ministry’s Technical and Vocational Education Department.