Aide et Action is working in isolated areas of Vietnam, building teacher capacity to increase access to quality education for marginalised children.
In Tam Duong district in Vietnam’s northwest province of Lai Chau, we have been working with Nung Nang Primary School to train teachers on how to deliver quality education to ethnic minority children.
Nung Nang Primary School was established in 2013 and currently has 373 students, 99% of whom are from the ethnic minority group Mong. The school applied to join Aide et Action’s project in January 2019 and for the past year, under support from the project, have been:
- Adopting active learning materials
- Running extracurricular classes
- Facilitating discussions between parents, teaching staff and local authorities
- Developing bilingual materials
- Improving the quality of teaching in regular classes
Bilingual teaching materials
Many of the children’s parents didn’t have the opportunity to finish an education and struggle to help their children with their homework and students often require extra support from their teachers. Another challenge teachers face is communicating effectively with their students as the students’ first language is Mong but the curriculum is taught in Vietnamese. By having extracurricular activities focused on Mong traditions such as song and dance as well as creating bilingual teaching materials, teachers are committed to engaging their students.
“Our teaching methods have improved a lot since joining Aide et Action’s project and our students are the beneficiaries of this,” says Nung Nang’s school principal. “After creating bilingual materials, students know how to read and write better. In the books, they’re also learning about their own culture which is very important.”
Grade 2 teacher Nguyen Thi Hang has also noticed changes in her students since joining Aide et Action’s project. “My students are more confident and enjoy coming to school and are much more flexible in language, especially in Vietnamese,” she says. Before the project, Hang’s students only spoke in their mother tongue but now they are speaking in Vietnamese and helping each other in discussions.
Shifting the focus from results to student inclusion
Hang has also noticed a change in her colleagues. “Before the project, many teachers were preoccupied only with results but now, we’re all caring a lot more about the process”. “For me, I care about what the children learn outside of their books. At school, you don’t just learn how to read and write, you also develop your personality. These years are their formative years. I want my students to be good people. I teach them how to help and care for one another.”
In observing one of Hang’s classes, it’s clear to see that she is making her desire a reality. Hang gives her students time to work on problems together and share their knowledge with one another. She encourages her students to present their knowledge in front of the entire class too, which is also helping to build their confidence. Hang and Nung Nang Primary School are a great example of the change we wish to see happen through our promotion of more inclusive and quality education.