Lao People’s Democratic Republic: Prime Minister’s Decree on Lifelong Learning, issued in 2020

  • 21 October 2020
La ville de Vientiane vue du haut du Patouxai
© Jean-Pierre Dalbéra


Laos’s Decree on Lifelong Learning aims to enable all Lao citizens to access learning opportunities to advance their level of education, knowledge, vocational and professional capabilities; develop sound morals and ethics; and be ready to contribute to national socio-economic development. Moreover, it seeks to ensure that the provision of teaching and learning as well as the assessment, recognition, certification and transfer of learning outcomes acquired through formal, non-formal and informal learning is implemented uniformly and to a consistent and high standard.

Concept of lifelong learning

Lifelong learning incorporates different forms of learning, including formal, non-formal and informal learning, with an aim to provide all people, both male and female, with access to learning opportunities throughout their lives, and to create knowledge societies in order to promote sustainable development.

Main regulations

The decree determines regulations for lifelong learning in three main areas:

  • Teaching/ learning;
  • Assessment, recognition, certification, equivalence and transfer;
  • Quality assurance of lifelong learning programmes.

Meanwhile, measures for lifelong learning shall be implemented in accordance with the following principles:

  • Lifelong learning shall be conducted in line with the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party’s policies, laws, national socio-economic development plans, and national strategies for human resource development.
  • Lifelong learning shall be embedded within a system that includes assessment, recognition, equivalency, accreditation and transfer of learning outcomes between formal, non-formal and informal learning approaches.
  • Lifelong learning shall be flexible, continuable, shall encompass various learning approaches, and be relevant to the contexts in which the learning takes place.
  • Lifelong learning shall be implemented in line with the national education qualification framework and be compatible with regional and international standards.
  • The implementation of lifelong learning shall involve cooperation and participation of ministries, organizations, local authorities and other relevant sectors.
  • The implementation of other principles of lifelong learning shall proceed in compliance with the international conventions and treaties to which the Lao PDR is a party.

Particular feature of the decree

The decree includes a chapter on ‘management and inspection of lifelong learning’, which asserts that the government is solely responsible for managing and monitoring lifelong learning programmes to ensure a nationally consistent approach. The chapter also provides a detailed description of duties, rights and responsibilities for the implementation and monitoring of lifelong learning.

The Ministry of Education and Sports has been authorized to be the lead agency in the implementation of the lifelong learning policy, working in collaboration and coordination with other relevant ministries, agencies and relevant local authorities to implement lifelong learning through assigned roles and functions. The agencies for management and monitoring comprise (1) the Ministry of Education and Sports; (2) the Provincial Education and Sports Services (PESS) in Vientiane Capital; and (3) district, municipal and city education bureaux. In addition, the decree defines the rights and duties of ministries, state ministry-equivalent agencies, and other relevant sectors and local authorities, all of which shall contribute to the implementation of lifelong learning.

Relevant documents that the decree refers to:

  • Law on the Government, No. 04/NA, dated 8 November 2016
  • Law on Education, No. 62/NA, dated 16 July 2015

Stakeholders involved in the development of the decree:

Stakeholders responsible for implementation of the decree:

  • Ministry of Education and Sports
  • National Commission for Human Resource Development
  • Provincial Committee for Human Resource Development
  • Provincial Education and Sports Services (PESS) in Vientiane Capital
  • District, municipal and city education bureaux.


Issuing body:

Ministry of Education and Sports