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June 17, 2007

India supports fund for establishing new English Centre
A new English Centre will be established in the National University of Laos to increase the opportunity for Lao people to upgrade their English in the new centre.
After the Government of India has agreed to support fund for the establishment of the new English Centre Lao –India Centre of English Language Training at the National University of Laos, under the Indian –Asian cooperation framework.

A signing ceremony for the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) took place on 13 June at the Ministry of Education. The MoU was signed by the Minister of Education, Professor Dr Somkot Mangnomek, and the Indian Ambassador to Laos, Mr Suresh K.Goel, and was witness by officials from both sides.

Mr Goel said the purpose of the centre was to provide a permanent venue for teaching English language and conducting courses, and raise the English language proficiency of civil servants, student and the business community in Laos.

Another major goal was to facilitate the use of English in official business transaction and to train and update English language teachers from schools, collages and universities.
The centre will also help to prepare students for examinations required for entrance into higher education abroad, including the Test of English as a foreign Language (TOEFL) and the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

Mr Goel explained that India has always taken the lead in sharing its knowledge base and expertise with other developing countries both for capacity building and human resource development, on various platforms such as India-ASEAN Cooperation, Mekong –Ganga Cooperation and other forms of south –south cooperation.

“It is in this context that India has implemented various initiatives in Laos such as the Lao-India Entrepreneur ship Development Centre. This new training centre is another important step in those endeavors,” he said. He said the centre would have a modern language laboratory with the latest teaching aids and office equipment. Two experts from the Central Institute of English and Foreign Languages from India will teach English language at the centre.

In addition to experts from India, senior faculty members from the National University of Laos will also teach at the Centre. Mr Goel emphasised that the centre would offer other courses such as a certificate of proficiency in English and business communication and a diploma in the teaching of English IELTS and TOEFL preparatory courses.

Dr Somkot said the centre would contribute not only to capacity building in Laos but also builds links between Laos and India as well as other Asean nations.

“The centre will mark stronger ties of friendship, cooperation and mutual understanding in the field of education between our two countries,” he said.
He added that the Indian government has agreed to consider increasing the number of scholarships under various programmes. KPL

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