One of the prerequisites of a successful mine risk education (MRE) program is a confident and well-trained teaching force. In addition to working with the Ministry of Education and Sport on curriculum development, the Comprehensive Mine Risk Education project (funded by the the US Department of State), has partnered with the Department of Teacher Education (DTE) to support eight teacher training colleges (TTCs) across Laos as they train their final year students on MRE lessons. So far, a total of 2,351 student teachers have participated in these one-day training workshops, learning how to use participatory teaching methods to effectively deliver unexploded ordnance (UXO) safety messages to their future students. By the end of the project, an estimated 3,800 student teachers will be prepared to teach MRE when they enter the classroom.
WEI and DTE officials recently observed training workshops at TTCs in Salavan, Savannakhet, and Champassak provinces. The team was impressed to see high levels of engagement from the trainers, who were all staff from the colleges. They had a strong grasp of the MRE curriculum, which translated to enthusiasm from the student teachers. The Salavan TTC even wrote their own new MRE song. Through their participation in discussions and teaching demonstrations, the student teachers displayed a strong understanding of the material and teaching methods. In particular, participants enjoyed learning about the MRE role play scripts for secondary school students. Through role play, older students will be able to simulate UXO safety scenarios in a fun and engaging way. The student teachers reported that they are eager to try out teaching MRE lessons when they start their internships at schools.