Study on Equivalency Program Class

Study on Equivalency Program Class

In April and May 2023, DVV International in Laos together with the partners of NFEDC, carried out a study on Equivalency Program (EP) classes. The EP provides knowledge and skills with an alternative opportunity to finish primary or secondary education. The program includes fundamental subjects that are similar to formal education as well as subjects on Basic Vocation, Quality of Life Improvement and Social and Community Development. With the participation in these programmes the participants receive a certificate at the end of the completion of the course that is equivalent to the formal education.

Based on statistical data by NFE outlining the number of learners who participated in the EP classes in 2022, the study aims to provide information about the participants motivation, the benefits and challenges, the use of knowledge in daily life, and the impact of the courses on the participants life/future career after completion the program.

In cooperation with NFEDC, three questionnaires for the target group of students, alumni and teachers have been developed in a capacity building workshop and subsequently tested at an NFE centre in Vientiane Capital. After that, colleagues from DVV and NFEDC staff split into two teams and visited Xiengkhoung, a province in the north of Laos, and Savannakhet, a province in the south. Subsequently, a part of the team collected then data in Vientiane Capital. The interviewees consisted of 29 students, 16 alumni as well as 9 teachers from primary, lower and upper secondary school levels. They all were chosen due to their participation and experience in the EP classes.

It has found that many of the participants study in NFE for their personal benefit to gain and improve knowledge, often they wish to continue studying. The EP helps to provide participants with significantly more knowledge and social skills, useful for their lives after. Raising awareness of the EP and its equivalence with formal education, as well as integrating more vocational training and the potential of online learning, along with a stronger needs assessment, are necessary to address the demands of the NFE target group.

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