These days Vietnam enjoys widespread education coverage, but gaps remain and need addressing to ensure access and a better quality of education for all children in the country, in particular those from poor households, remote areas and ethnic minority groups. Underlying issues include language barriers, poor quality of teaching, inadequate school curricula, poor facilities and infrastructure, water and sanitation issues, poverty, malnutrition and migration.
Since 2004, Aide et Action has been working closely with partners and communities in Vietnam to improve the nutrition status of children in regions where these issues are hardest felt. Thousands of children have benefited through newly built kindergartens, kitchens, improved nutrition, better school facilities, child-friendly learning environments, and training for teachers, parents and local authorities in child healthcare and nutrition.
At this stage, one of the remaining educational areas that stands out in terms of needing further assistance to make sure Vietnamese schools can provide all children with a quality education is Early Childhood Care & Education (ECCE). Despite policies on Early Childhood Care & Education being in place in Vietnam, and National Early Learning Development Standards part of the pre-primary curriculum, access to and quality of ECCE remain limited in remote areas where poor, vulnerable and ethnic minority families are predominantly located. One of the main challenges for ECCE in Vietnam is to ensure the smooth and successful transition of children to primary education. With Early Childhood Care & Education as one of its main focus areas since 2005, Aide et Action Vietnam will continue to use its expertise to address the current challenges for ECCE.
Career Guidance and Vocational Training for lower secondary students, in particular for disadvantaged and ethnic minority students living in some of the poorest and most remote areas in the country, constitute another current challenge in Vietnam’s educational landscape that Aide et Action is committed to helping address. Secondary students in poor, remote, ethnic communities frequently drop out of school in the lower secondary grades and go on to join the labor market without clear career orientation, earning a poor income and often facing unemployment.
Finally, despite the good progress Vietnam has made towards Universal Primary Education, some educational challenges persist, and they disproportionately affect children of ethnic minorities. This is why Aide et Action Vietnam also directs its efforts towards solving the most pressing issues relating to learning environments and the quality of learning and teaching that jeopardize children’s optimal development and education, in particular in poor and disadvantaged areas.