Education in Laos is compulsory for five years of primary education. In 1997, there were 7,896 primary schools with 25,831 teachers and 786,335 students. Student-to-teacher ratio stood at 30 to 1, and remained the same as of 1999. In 1996, secondary schools had 11,269 teachers and 169,691 students. As of 1999, 82% of primary-school-age children were enrolled in school, while 29% of those eligible attended secondary school.
In 1997 there were 1,369 teaching faculty and 12,732 students enrolled at all higher-level institutions. Sisavongvong University at Vientiane includes a school of education, a school of law and administration, a school of medicine, a school of vocational training, a school of agriculture, and a school of public works. There were also regional technical colleges and 63 teacher training colleges as of 1985. For the year 2000, adult illiteracy rates were estimated at 38.2% (males, 26.4%; females, 49.5%). As of 1999, public expenditure on education was estimated at2.4% of GDP.