Viet Nam takes action towards STEM Education for Sustainable Development




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.