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Viet Nam takes action towards STEM Education for Sustainable Development

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Ha Noi, 27-31 March 2017 – Viet Nam hosted a national workshop within the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Education 2015 programme led by UNESCO International Bureau of Education (IBE) and the Government of Malaysia. The workshop addressed the role and implications of advancing STEM education into policy, curriculum and pedagogy and promoted South-South cooperation in STEM education for girls.

STEM education is an essential pillar for sustainable development and participatory citizenship. Women’s involvement in science and technology not only stimulates innovation, but also benefits their social engagement and domestic work.

While Viet Nam’s enrolment rate of female students at the university level has increased from 30.29 per cent to 52.49 per cent between the 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 academic years, female students are still more likely to specialize in education, the humanities and arts while men were more likely to specialize in engineering, manufacturing and construction.

The programme, Strengthening STEM Curricula for Girls in Africa and Asia and the Pacific is in its first phase in Viet Nam, implemented by the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) and the Vietnam Institute of Educational Sciences (VNIES).  Launched in Viet Nam in 2016, the programme aims to raise awareness on the significance of articulating gender-responsive STEM education, gain insight on Malaysia’s experience and best practices in mainstreaming gender-responsive STEM education in teaching resources and to develop a concrete action plan for Viet Nam to mainstream gender-responsive STEM education.

The workshop included key note speakers and roundtable discussions with panels of senior ministry officers, partners, donors, evaluators, and experts in curriculum, syllabus, and learning resources. Discussions brought about a shared vision among stakeholders for actions towards mainstreaming STEM in teaching tools and practices and provided opportunities to mobilize resources and partnerships.

Through the use of the Training Tools for Curriculum Development: a Resource Pack for Gender-Responsive STEM Education, developed by Malaysian officials and IBE-UNESCO, participants reached a consensus to develop national surveys on STEM education; to strategies, policies and national action programmes; to develop STEM integrated curriculum and materials for pre-school to vocational and higher education levels; and to research and develop a STEM model fostering professional development for teachers and educational institutions.

Welcoming participants, Vice Minister of Education and Training, Ms. Nguyen Thi Nghia affirmed that “raising awareness of the roles played by women in socio-economic and cultural activities has become a major guiding principle set out by the Government of Viet Nam.” Ms. Nghia emphasized the importance of the workshop as an opportunity to learn from the experience of STEM education in Malaysia, “a friendly and close country with a context similar to that of Viet Nam.”

Director General of VNIES, Mr. Tran Cong Phong voiced the support of VNIES as the leading research agency in Viet Nam in the integration of STEM education for girls with use of the Institutes well-established partnership with international organisations, universities and other research institutes. Additionally he highlighted Viet Nam’s progress with the launching of “a pilot STEM education programme in 14 lower and upper secondary schools” for the 2016-2017 school year.

Along the same lines, Mr. Toshiyuki Matsumoto, UNESCO Education Programme Specialist, highlighted that “as today’s world requires more STEM professionals to find innovative solutions to global challenges, there is growing awareness of the importance of drawing more girls and women into STEM fields.” With this, he acknowledged that “education has a significant impact, particularly in terms of gender-sensitive policies and frameworks, teacher training and recruitment, as well as in ensuring that learning materials are free of gender stereotypes.”

For more information, please contact: Mr. Toshiyuki Matsumoto, Education Programme Specialist, at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Harsh punishment for child offenders doesn’t prevent further criminality

The age at which a child, can be held criminally liable is a controversial issue around the world. Within Viet Nam, this issue is currently being grappled with in the Penal Code amendments. Some argue that a "get tough on crime" approach is necessary to punish children to prevent further criminality.

However, international research shows that because of their developmental stages, labelling and treating children as criminals at an early age can have serious negative impacts on their development and successful rehabilitation.


New Year Greetings from the United Nations Resident Coordinator a.i. in Viet Nam


On the occasion of New Year 2017, on behalf of the United Nations family in Viet Nam I wish to reiterate our appreciation and express our warmest wishes to our partners and friends throughout the country. We wish our partners and their families in Viet Nam peace, prosperity, good health and happiness in the coming year.

As we enter the second year of the Sustainable Development Goals era, we look forward to continuing our close cooperation for the sake of Viet Nam’s future development; one which is inclusive, equitable and sustainable, with no one left behind.

Youssouf Abdel-Jelil
United Nations Resident Coordinator a.i. in Viet Nam


UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message for World AIDS Day, observed on 1 December


Thirty-five years since the emergence of AIDS, the international community can look back with some pride.  But we must also look ahead with resolve and commitment to reach our goal of ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030.

There has been real progress in tackling the disease. More people than ever are on treatment.  Since 2010, the number of children infected through mother to child transmission has dropped by half. Fewer people die of AIDS related causes each year.  And people living with HIV are living longer lives.

The number of people with access to life-saving medicines has doubled over the past five years, now topping 18 million. With the right investments, the world can get on the fast-track to achieve our target of 30 million people on treatment by 2030.  Access to HIV medicines to prevent mother to child transmission is now available to more than 75 per cent of those in need.


The secretary-general's message for the International Day to End Violence against Women and Girls


25 November 2016 - At long last, there is growing global recognition that violence against women and girls is a human rights violation, public health pandemic and serious obstacle to sustainable development.  Yet there is still much more we can and must do to turn this awareness into meaningful prevention and response.


UNIDO Director General's Op-Ed Article to media on the occasion of UNIDO's 50th anniversary


Did you know that in Viet Nam, the net flow of foreign direct investment increased from USD1billion in 2003 to USD10 billion in 2008, and that by 2015 reached USD23 billion?  Or that the total value of exports rose from USD2 billion in 1990 to USD72 billion in 2010, to reach USD162 billion in 2015? These impressive figures highlight the country’s robust economic success, providing a boost to the economy and employment.

These accomplishments are largely due to the reforms undertaken by Viet Nam since Doi Moi in 1986 which liberalized the economy, attracted foreign investment, fostered exports and reduced poverty. To prepare for reform, Viet Nam received extensive technical assistance from the international community, including from the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), well before 1986 and, more precisely, since 1978.

For more than 35 years, UNIDO has been sharing international best practices to help Viet Nam develop inclusive and sustainable industry. With more than USD100 million in expenditure, UNIDO’s technical cooperation activities have been carried out across a broad range of fields, including support to the private sector and technical and industrial research organizations, facilitation of technology transfer, trade capacity-building, human resource development, environmental protection, energy efficiency, investment promotion and responsible business practices.

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