I ​​believe that it is important to have short courses for Animal Husbandry for the disadvantaged.

Initial vocational education and training
When you first meet Mr. Khamhoung Keobounhak, you immediately know that he is a dedicated, enthusiastic teacher. Khamhoung is the Head of Animal Husbandry Course at Integrated Vocational Education Training (IVET) School in XiengKhuang Province. Khamhoung has over 16 years of teaching experience. 

Khamhoung had the opportunity to participate in a planning workshop to introduce Certificate 1 courses, which are supported by the VTESS project. “Having programs like these are a great opportunity for people to gain knowledge and improve their professional skills. It is also a good opportunity for young people to have more job opportunities and to upgrade employment to a higher percentage,” he explained.

The teachers are engaged in making the curriculum fun and interactive for the trainees, “Every week we have a work planning meeting to focus on our lessons, especially to discuss about the practical training activities for the week. If the teachers need support, then I give them advice,” said Khamhoung.

However, there are some challenges in teaching at the IVET school, “There are many ethnic students in XiengKhuang who cannot read or write Lao well, and some don’t understand Lao when I speak or explain. Increasingly, I will explain, give advice and pay special attention to these trainees.” 

Khamhoung believes raising livestock is an important contributor to the local economy because after graduating, trainees can become entrepreneurs, “I am glad that this course is also offered to disadvantaged groups.” It is also relevant for this course to be done in XiengKhuang Province because many of the residents are already engaged in animal husbandry and farming. 

Khamhoung further explained that the majority of people who work in agriculture are elderly people and the younger ones are reluctant to do it, but the short-term aspect of this training and learning significant new skills appeals to young people.

Khamhoung hopes that his school can find the funds to build a small farm, which would be great addition to the practical training aspect of the course. He said,  “Having a farm would be advantageous to the trainees to better understand the lessons.” 

Initial vocational education and training
Vocational Training and Employment Support Services in Laos
The VTESS project aims at vocational training and labour market insertion or re-entering of schooling of the main project beneficiaries, who are people between 15 and 35 years of age, have completed primary and/ or lower secondary education only (early school leavers), and are subjected to income poverty. The main objective of the project is to improve the income and, ultimately, the livelihood of its beneficiaries.