The Know About Business programme is coming to 5 new secondary schools in Vientiane, the capital of Laos in the 2012-2013 school year. A ToT was held with teachers from the schools held by the Lao-India Entrepreneurship Development Centre. Read all about it in the Vientiane Times Article (attached).
This report is an attempt to report back on the major findings from 8 tracer studies that were carried out in 8 countries under an SDC funded project, as well as provide some insights on lessons learned and recommendations on the tools and process used to carry out these assessments. This is to help future similar initiatives in KAB and other entrepreneurship education programmes. The key question was to find out what happened to KAB participants 2 or 3 years after graduation and how does their school-to-work transition and current employment situation compare to peers who did not take the course. The research project however did not look more into detail at the impact the programme had had on their first beneficiaries, i.e. the trainers and teachers trained.
“Know About Business” (KAB) develop by the International Labour Organization has been included in the curriculum of secondary schools, approved by the National workshop on curriculum Reform for upper secondary Education on July 7-9, 2011 supported by ADB, attended with 140 persons under the chairperson of vice Minister Ministry of Education and Sports.
The Refresher Training of Teachers workshop on “Know About Business” for the upper secondary schools of Module 6-9 in 5 provinces launched on September - October 2010 which resulted in positive outcomes
On 24-30 November 2010, the workshop of committee approval of curriculum and instructional material (CACIM) was choose the KAB in two categories namely
First category: • For 12 hours to share with the vocational and technical curriculum for
Module 1-5 in the ten class year of academic year. and
• For 12 hours to share for Module 6-9 in the eleven class year of
The KAB was selected in the choosing subject:
• For 68 hours for Module 1-5 implemented in the ten class year of
academic year and
• For 68 hours for Module 6-9 implement in the eleven class year of
academic year .At the present, Subject on “Know About Business” (KAB) was included in the educational system of the upper secondary schools which will start implementation from 2010 academic year.
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How a curriculum addition opens young people’s minds to new ways of working
and earning a livelihood
THE GOOD PRACTICE: Promoting an entrepreneurial culture with a gender perspective within both secondary school and technical vocational training and education curricula to equip young women and men for self-employment and the transition from school to work
Entrepreneurship education for young people in Lao
THE INITIAL CHALLENGE: Moving from a centrally planned economy to the free market, the business culture in Lao People’s Democratic Republic is relatively new and gradually taking shape. Entrepreneurship is not fully appreciated because there are very few role models. This is especially the case for women, because the notion that men are better thinkers and business decision-makers than women is still very strong in Lao PDR.
Entrepreneurship is considered important for any country that is on a new path to economic growth and development. Introducing entrepreneurship into secondary schools and vocational education and training can prepare a new generation of girls and boys for self-employment at a time when formal wage employment is not available to many young jobseekers.
THE RESPONSE: In partnership with the Lao-India Entrepreneurship Development Center (LIEDC), the Department of Higher Education of the Ministry of Education (MOE) and the Small and Medium Enterprise Promotion and Development Office (SMEPDO), the International Labour Organization (ILO) introduced its Know About Business (KAB) entrepreneurship curriculum in the Lao educational system.
The KAB curriculum is designed to develop positive attitudes towards enterprise and self-employment among youth. It also stimulates young women and men to become enterprising persons in their communities as well as in their personal careers; and it provides knowledge and ideas on how to take up the challenges in starting and operating a successful enterprise. This is intended to make the transition from school to work easier for young people. It is an important life skill for students at all education levels, whether they become employees or start their own enterprise in the transition from school to work or at some later stage in their adult life.
The package was initially developed by the ILO in 1996 and has been introduced to 50 countries. The curriculum addresses terminology from the world of business; how to set up and operate a business (setting priorities, managing people, keeping records and getting a business license); and how to take calculated risks, be a decision maker and find innovative solutions to problems that occur in life and in business.
The 120-hour KAB curriculum was a timely and relevant response to the Government’s 2004 Decree on the Promotion and Development of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises, which states that “The MOE shall coordinate with SMEPDO in the development of entrepreneurial training curricula and incorporating them into the educational system.”
The programme also accommodated the Government’s policy emphasis on the development of the Lao education system for 2006–2020, which includes reference to the introduction of business training in the curriculum for upper secondary schools.
THE PROCESS: The ILO and the LIEDC organised a workshop in mid 2005 for education policy-makers, educational institute administrators and officers from non-government organizations and development agencies to introduce the concept, approach and methodology of the KAB curriculum which had been translated into Lao. The response was positive, but acceptance into an already overloaded curriculum would require a long process, including an assessment by the Research Institute for Educational Sciences of the MOE.
The partners then arranged similar workshops and meetings with officials from the Ministry of Education and policy-makers to plan the piloting of the curriculum in four provinces (
The first government evaluation of this piloted experience proved favourable. After making some revisions based on that evaluation, the ILO, through its project on Women’s Entrepreneurship Development and Gender Equality (ILO-WEDGE), and the LIEDC took the KAB curriculum for a second test run in private upper secondary schools in eight provinces in late 2007. At the same time, the Research Institute for Educational Sciences of the MOE did another assessment of the
During the first refresher course, teachers noted that although they liked the curriculum, one year was too short a time period to master the teaching and adequately cover the 120-hours of instruction. They managed to complete the course by giving extra time during holidays or after school hours. Students, they said, liked the participatory learning style and the content. They did ask for more case studies of real Lao business situations and business people’s experiences. The teachers were encouraged to promote business activity ideas among students that were as innovative as possible.
To support ongoing learning, the LIEDC trainers visited all the schools participating in the pilot project to observe the curriculum in practice and to help teachers with any difficulties they might experience. Because many teachers reported they felt ill-equipped to teach entrepreneurship, the LIEDC organised enterprise visits for them to speak directly with owners and managers about their daily experiences in managing and operating an enterprise.
Following requests from MOE, the ILO agreed to support another round of teachers’ training in six provinces. In preparation for this, the ILO–WEDGE project in
Following those meetings, the partners conducted a two-week training of trainers (TOT) workshop in July 2009 for 25 teachers (9 of them women) from 15 new schools in five provinces. Four teachers from the Teachers College /
The LIEDC project will regularly monitor, coach, and provide technical support to the teachers and the trainers who have trained them (so-called “master trainers”) throughout the academic year 2009/10. A refresher training workshop will be organised halfway through the roll-out for the school teachers to discuss their experiences and challenges in teaching the new entrepreneurship subject, and to review the modules that will be introduced during the next academic year.
An evaluation is planned for the end of the 2009/10 academic year. The findings of the refresher workshop and the evaluation will be presented to the MOE as required for its decision on whether or not to mainstream
¨ The international KAB curriculum is translated into the Lao language and adapted so that it is suitable to the local context and can be used to deliver the 120-hour KAB course.
¨ The KAB entrepreneurship curriculum has been integrated into the school curriculum in 12 secondary and vocational training schools (public and private) since 2006. The typical age group of students is 15–18.
¨ As of 2009, more than 23,000 students have participated in the KAB course.
¨ Public resources for teachers’ training and for the printing of high quality teaching materials and aids are scarce, thus good-quality delivery of this course (and others) cannot be guaranteed without some sort of external assistance in the short term.
¨ In the KAB entrepreneurship course, group work, innovative games and exercises are at the heart of the participatory training methodology along with a process of inquiry. This is how students are encouraged to be responsible for their own learning. In Lao PDR, classes often consist of 60 students or more, and applying the participatory KAB teaching methodology can be a challenge for teachers who as a result may resort to an out-dated lecture-style teaching.
¨ Teachers may not always have enough background in gender-equality promotion to be able to encourage both girls and boys to develop an enterprising mind-set.
¨ While introducing KAB entrepreneurship education in the schools is an important step, the challenge is to integrate entrepreneurship education into higher education and teacher education curricula. Universities and teachers colleges must integrate KAB in their curricula to ensure that high quality entrepreneurship training is provided at all levels of the education and training system.
¨ Teachers and students enjoy the
¨ Teachers may reproduce certain stereotypes that reinforce the false idea that men are better at business because they are natural risk-takers and decision-makers. These stereotypes need to be dealt with both in the curriculum itself but also in the learning process of the KAB course. The risk-taking game played during the KAB course actually often shows that the female students are more realistic and more calculated risk-takers than the male students
¨ Entrepreneurship education must integrate gender issues to awaken within young people an excitement for entrepreneurship and respect for gender equality. Boys and young men may never have had any exposure to gender issues and using entrepreneurship games and exercises illustrates that what one sex can do, their class mates of the other sex can do just as well.