1.2. Second Project Phase: “Bi-directional teaching and learning” (2018-2021)
Project leaders: University of Education Karlsruhe & Savannakhet University
Volunteer project partners:
Ban Sikeud Primary School, Ban Phang Heng Primary School, Ban Phang Heng Secondary School (until 2019)
Lao-German Technical College, Vocational Education Development Institute, Sunshine School
During the 2017 “Fact-Finding Mission” – financed by the DAAD and approved by the Lao Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES) – Prof. Martin and her research assistant visited 26 institutions of education in central and south Laos. In her research sabbatical in 2017/18, she visited colleges and the university in the north, which again was made possible by the official permission of the MoES. Possible cooperations were discussed and sometimes drafted, and a few were followed up by pro-active leaders of those institutions, most notably the University of Savannakhet (SKU) and the Vocational Education Development Institute (VEDI). The SKU leaders visited us in Karlsruhe 6 months later, so the next step was to write an application for an Erasmus+ Mobility project. We got it!
From 2018 to 2021, PH Karlsruhe and SKU researchers, doctoral students, and student-researchers from the departments of English, biology, IT, technics and physics worked together in the Erasmus+ project “Bi-directional teaching and learning”. We received attention and support by two Ambassadors, the Lao-German Friendship Foundation, the Lao Minister of Education and several other Lao Ministries, and, last, but not least, the Central Committee of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party. The two partner universities held an International Symposium together in October 2019 on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of SKU about “The Internationalization of Higher Education Institutions”.
Our PLC serves the “Agenda 2030” and – through transboundary tandem-work – contributes to “Quality Education”, which is key to tackling the global challenges of the 21st century. We teach and learn from each other and progress together through the different stages of Global Citizenship, and we improve our work as global educators. Three doctoral dissertations officially started within this project in 2019, 2020, and 2021, and new academic posts are published on this blog on a regular basis.
Three other Lao institutions of education invited Prof. Martin back for more talks in 2018 and 2019, and new tandem-teaching projects were planned for 2020 and 2021 at the Teacher Training College and Xaysombath Technical College in Savannakhet and the National University of Laos (NUOL) in Vientiane. Two universities in Sevilla and Zurich showed interest in joining these cooperations.
Three new partners in the Asia-Pacific planned to visit us in Savannakhet in 2020 in order to join our tandem-work and also do collaborative research. The partners in question – Deakin University (Melbourne), The Education University (Hong Kong), and Beijing Normal University (Beijing) – were then also stopped in their tracks by Covid-19, like us.
Dissemination and impact have become important – hence more academic articles on educational and global issues on this blog. As travelling abroad had become difficult if not impossible by the autumn of 2020, Prof. Martin’s students from her course “Global English(es), Global TEFL & Global Citizenship Education” also started writing articles. They now contribute to the series “Language Education & Global Citizenship”.
Only one student (Team XI.5) managed to get a visa for entering Laos in 2021, with much help from our partners in the Ministries and the Lao Embassy in Berlin. As Lao P.D.R. stopped issueing Certificates of Entry for foreigners again in August 2021, following high infection rates brought in from migrant workers, we will regrettably not be able to send our Team XII this autumn/winter, and it remains unclear when our doctoral students can travel again to collect their data.
(as of September 2021)