The Lao-German Technical College (“LGTC”) is a vocational training school under the auspices of the Ministry of Education and Sports. It was founded in 1964 as part of Germany’s development aid in Laos during that time and is supported today by the Federal Republic of Germany. The LGTC offers different vocational training courses for Lao students who finished lower secondary school or high school. Degrees range from “Skilled worker” to a Bachelor’s degree. More than 1,300 students are currently enrolled, with roughly 700 new students taking up their training each September.
For graduates from lower secondary schools (e.g. our school in Ban Phang Heng), the LGTC offers so-called “9+2” or “9+3” training courses, which means nine school years plus two or three years of vocational training. For upper secondary, i.e. high school graduates the LGTC offers “12+2” and “12+2+1” courses. The syllabus is divided up into semesters: the “winter” semester lasts from September until the middle of March and the “summer” semester from the end of March until mid-July.
The LGTC is divided into six main sections: Automotive, metal machinery, electro-electronics, welding-plumbing, heavy equipment and agro-machinery. Each section has its own workshop; theory lessons are held in the main building.
Since the LGTC is closely connected with Germany and its (unique) dual training system, their objective is to include more and more companies in the training courses on offer, in order to provide a practice-oriented vocational education. Compared to the German system, in which vocational training is split up between vocational schools (theory) and the companies (practice), the LGTC developed a system whereby both parts are (partly) combined in the College. Companies use the variety of machines and training devices in the College to offer training courses they cannot provide in their own workshop due to the lack of machines or personnel. Whenever possible, companies offer in-company training in their own workshops.
Due to good management and equipment, the LGTC cooperates with many different local and international companies, such as Toyota and RMA Ford in the automotive section, Phu Bia Mining in the metal and electrical sections, Kubota in the agro-machinery section, Endress Hauser and Nam Theun 2 Power Company in the electrics section, and BHS Corrugated in the electric and mechanic section.
The LGTC is considered to be the best in the country and has been titled “flagship of vocational training in Laos”, but the level of English proficiency is – with a few notable exceptions – very low or, mostly, non-existent. (English never played a role in the history of the country up until very recently, so this is hardly surprising.) However, English is becoming more and more important because of the growing competition between the ASEAN states in the new common market of the “ASEAN Economic Community” (AEC), officially established in 2016.
The demand for skilled Lao workers who can communicate in English has therefore sky-rocketed in a very short time, but the domestic job market cannot currently meet this new demand. Many of the skilled workers who can communicate in English follow the offer of higher salaries and better job opportunities in Thailand, Malaysia or Korea, as the AEC now also allows the free flow of goods and work forces.
This is why BHS Corrugated and the LGTC started working together on a new “Recruitment and Training Programme” following the model of the German dual system in 2015.
At the same time, the Angel Foundation started its cooperation with the PH Karlsruhe to professionalize the teaching of English at the three AfC schools in Vientiane Province.
The Recruitment and Training Program (short RTP) is a joint project of BHS Corrugated and the Lao-German Technical College to improve Dual-Cooperative Training in Lao PDR and train skilled workers for BHS Corrugated in the Asia-Pacific region.
At the Lao-German Technical College, future service technicians of BHS Corrugated are trained by an intercompany training model with local companies based on the model of the UeBZO (Intercompany training center in Eastern Bavaria), BHS Corrugated’s training partner in Germany.
Within the project “Teaching English in Laos” the Lao-German Technical College is the first partner college. Students and graduates from the University stay as volunteers for several months (September – January and February – April) at the Lao-German Technical College. They teach both apprentices of BHS in the English language as well as vocational trainers of the school, separated in four groups (2x beginner, 1x elementary, 1x Technical English). Another focus is the support of English didactics and methodology.
Vocational training at the Lao-German Technical College
When the question arose how any vocational training aiming to meet international standards could not incorporate the development of English skills, the connection was made. Early in 2016, the project leaders of the “Teaching English in Laos” project were asked to teach the LGTC teachers so they would be able to teach their students better in the future. The teachers of “Technical English” and other vocational trainers were also faced with donations of equipment and machinery from various international companies whose instruction manuals they could not understand – because they were written in English (and other European languages). This means the LGTC has great equipment which cannot be used.
Therefore, in February 2016 it was decided to extend the “Teaching English in Laos” project to the LGTC, starting in September 2016. This way, a new partner college was included in our programme, less than six months after the start of the pilot project.
This is an interactive (able to be clicked) map of the campus. By clicking on the map you can get an overview of the sections and buildings at the Lao-German Technical College in Vientiane before seeing it for yourself. Our volunteers from the “Bi-directional tandem-teaching and learning in Laos” project have been working here since the start of this partnership in 2016, giving lessons, creating a short film with their tandem-partners and students, installing a Lending Library, a Didactics Room, and also offering special workshops. The map has been created by Morten Bilger, volunteer of Team X in 2020.
Interactive Map of LGTC
This map is interactive. Use your finger or cursor to click on the buildings in the photo. Find out more about them and get to know the college!
This building houses the Administration of the college as well as the Staff Offices.
This is the Automotive Section of the college. There are classrooms on the left side of the building.
Welding and Plumbing Section
The Welding and Plumbing Section is located in the south of the campus.
General Metal Machining Section
This is the General Metal Machining Section. It can be found on the left side when entering the campus from Lao-Thai road.
Heavy Machinery & Agro Machinery Section
This is the Heavy Machinery & Agro Machinery Section which is located right next to the General Metal Machining Section. It also has a classroom in it.
Electrical & Electronic Section
The newly built Electrical and Electronic Section of the Lao-German Technical College.
Lessons for various subjects taught at the college are being held in the two Theory Buildings.
Canteen, Shop & Scooter Parking
There is a Canteen with a little shop for snacks and drinks, restrooms and the scooter parking area in this part of the campus.
The campus is located close to the Mekong river on the west, right next to the crossing between Thadeua Road and Lao-Thai Road.