Education

Vietnam mobilizing resources in community for early childhood education

SGGP

The Ministry of Education and Training (MoET) on October 27 held a meeting in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) to evaluate results after 10 years implementing the project ‘Mandatory Kindergarten Education for 5-year-old Children’ and 2 years launching the project ‘Developing Kindergarten Education from 2018-2025’.

Pupils in 2/9 Kindergarten (sited in Hoc Mon District of HCMC) are taking part in a lesson.

Pupils in 2/9 Kindergarten (sited in Hoc Mon District of HCMC) are taking part in a lesson.

Director of the Early Childhood Education Department Nguyen Ba Minh reported that there are now 3,180 private kindergartens in Vietnam (accounting for 20.6 percent), along with nearly 16,000 private childcare center.

Statistics from MoET reveal that until December 2019, all provinces and cities in the country offer kindergarten education for the 5-year-old. Each year, more classrooms are built to answer the demand of the society, yet the quantity of solid ones are still insufficient.

In the last 10 years, the number of children learning in kindergartens, regardless of models, has increased by 1.5 million. The rate of children going to nursery reaches 28 percent, and to kindergartens 90 percent. The total amount of money spent on early childhood education has increased from 31 percent (from 2011-2015) to 69 percent (from 2016-2019), 63 percent of which is from public contribution.

Director of the HCMC Department of Education and Training Le Hong Son shared that since 2011, private kindergartens have witnessed a strong growth. In particular, among the current 1,346 kindergartens in the city, 879 are private ones.

HCMC has also welcomed public contribution in building more educational infrastructure and equipment and training more qualified teachers.

Director Nguyen Ba Minh admitted that public kindergartens are not enough to satisfy the educational needs of the society. Therefore, the government will prioritize its limited resources, especially the teaching staff, to remote areas that are unable to mobilize public resources.

Other more advantageous regions are suggested to be autonomous in signing contracts with qualified teachers.

Also, in observance with Decree No.105/2020/ND-CP, issued on September 8, 2020 by the Prime Minister providing for early childhood education development policies, public kindergartens are encouraged to be financially autonomous in overtime or day-boarder services. This revenue will provide more conditions for these educational institutes to improve their formal activities.

The Prime Minister has just approved a new regulation regarding a financial support of at least VND800,000 per month (approx. US$35) for each teacher in private kindergartens inside industrial parks. This sum is excluded from any tax and insurance. This amount is the responsibility of the People’s Committee of each local area, and is calculated based on the local budget.

In addition, the government finances necessary training and learning materials for private kindergarten teachers when there is a need to upgrade their professional knowledge.

Deputy Minister of Education and Training Ngo Thi Minh voiced that even though private early childhood education are still encountering obstacles, the local authorities are always wholeheartedly ready to help them in order to best serve the learning needs of the society.

It is hoped that with the application of the 2019 Education Law, early childhood education can witness a more comprehensive renovation, from land use for new classrooms to highly qualified teaching staff, and attractive policies to attract new capable teachers, leading to a more sustainable educational growth.

By Thu Tam – Translated by Huong Vuong

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