Press release: IMPROVING QUALITY OF EDUCATION FOR ETHNIC MINORITY CHILDREN THROUGH LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT

Hanoi, 19th December – Mother Tongue Based Bilingual Education is the key topic of a workshop entitled “Improving the quality of education for ethnic minority children through language development,” co-organised by Aide et Action Viet Nam (AEA), Consultative Institute for Socio-Economic Development of Rural and Mountainous Areas (CISDOMA) and Vietnam Institute of Educational Sciences (VNIES).

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The workshop is under the 3 year project (2016-2018) “Promoting inclusive and relevant early childhood care and education for ethnic minority and disadvantaged children in Vietnam,” funded by the European Union. Over the past 18 months, the project implemented in three communes Ta Leng, Nung Nang, Khun Ha in Tam Duong District, Lai Chau Province, has piloted the application of Child-Centered Methodology (CCM) and Mother Tongue-Based Bilingual Education (MTBBE) to promote active involvement of parents and children through a series of educational activities including extracurricular lessons, Global Action Week and monthly parents’ association meetings. In addition, the project has strengthened advocacy work for policymakers at local and national levels to share best practices widely for further scale-up.

Applying the MTBBE approach, the use of students’ mother tongue and two or more additional languages as languages of instruction in school, the project developed a set of bilingual materials in Viet and Mong languages. The material set consists of 55 short fiction stories written by local teachers to reflect the daily lives of Mong children and their community. Those stories have been integrated into extracurricular activities at school, with the facilitation of well-trained teachers  “The most obvious advantage of this approach which has been also promoted by the MOET, is to use bilingual education, in which mother tongue is the first language used in education for minority children to eliminate the language barriers, and to support children to access Vietnamese and scientific information in an easy way,” said Mr. Ha Duc Da, Director of Ethnic Education Research Center – VNIES.

With the view that “each child is an individual with his/her own identity” and “every child has the opportunities to learn by different ways,” the child centered approach (CCM) encourages children to take learning into their own hands, as opposed to being directed or prompted by a teacher. It has been used through teaching and learning in both Mong and Vietnamese, and is proven to be effective in improving school attendance and the quality of learning of ethnic minority children. “We have piloted projects that use diverse and contextualised MTBBE and CCM approaches to promote fair access to quality education for ethnic minority children through language development. We believe that children will be fully developed and well prepared for social inclusion,” added Mr. Eric Ouannes, International Director General, Aide et Action.

The workshop will engage nearly 60 delegates from the Delegation of the European Union to Vietnam, the National Assembly, the Ministry of Education and Training (MoET), relevant agencies, international organizations and civil society organizations. 

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Contact information:      Ms. Nhung Nguyen – Communication Officer – Aide et Action Vietnam

Office Phone:                         (+824) 237265537

E-mail:                                  nhung.nguyen@aide-et-action.org