The benefits of keeping Hmong girls enrolled in primary education in Luang Prabang province of Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) : teachers and parents/guardians viewpoints and perspectives
Citation:Saythongmany, S. (2016). The benefits of keeping Hmong girls enrolled in primary education in Luang Prabang province of Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR): Teachers and parents/guardians viewpoints and perspectives. An unpublished thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Social Practice, Unitec Institute of Technology, New Zealand.
Permanent link to Research Bank record:http://hdl.handle.net/10652/3505
Primary schooling in Laos improved dramatically after Laos got full independence in 1975. The Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES) has expanded a number of schools, improved the quality of teacher training and made teaching and learning relevant to all children. Primary school is a very significant place for all children to develop their learning tools and it is a place where children ought to be treated equally in terms of access to education. Enrolment of girls at primary school brings vital benefits not only for the children but also for their families, their communities and their country because these females can contribute to the quality of productivity. This qualitative research investigated the benefits of primary schooling for girls as perceived by parents/guardians. The research takes into account their perspectives on keeping their daughters at primary school. Parents and guardians were interviewed in a village in the Xieng Ngeun district, Luang Prabang, Laos. While emphasising the parents’ perceived benefits for enrolling their daughters at primary school, this research focuses on the issues that the parents confront in keeping their daughters at primary school as well as what other parents could do to enrol their daughters in primary school in the future. A qualitative approach was employed for this research. Two different groups of participants were interviewed using mainly a semi-structured interview strategy. The first group consisted of the parents of female Hmong students who were studying at primary school, while the second group consisted of the teachers who taught at primary school. All twelve participants had played a significant role in education for girls and they could provide relevant data and answer the research questions. The results of the findings indicate that the participants acknowledged the advantages of enrolling their daughters at primary school such as improving their literacy, numeracy, learning Lao, exchanging cultural knowledge and various other benefits. These benefits could improve the quality of life of Hmong girls as well as their families. The findings of this study also reveal that primary schools have improved considerably. More and more Hmong girls were enrolled in both kindergarten and primary school and this could help to enhance students’ Lao language and eliminate illiteracy. The primary school is a very important part of the education system because it is the foundation for literacy acquisition within a population. It also became apparent that a basic level of education for everyone must be achieved before continuing their education at secondary school. The findings of this study suggest that even though the numbers of female Hmong children enrolled at primary school have increased, there should be more support for these girls and that support should be ongoing. Another crucial recommendation is that there should be more Hmong or Khmu teachers especially at first grade and second grade. The quality of Hmong or Khmu teachers who teach at first and second grades at primary school is vital because students need to be able to speak, read and write Lao fluently.