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UNESCO

Impact of teacher policies assessed in Viet Nam’s most disadvantaged provinces

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field survey_680Photo: UNESCO Viet Nam

Ha Noi, 19 June 2017 – In implementation of the Education Sector’s Action Plan on Gender Equality 2016-2020, a survey on the impact of current policies for teachers (at primary and secondary schools) on children’s education in mountainous and economically disadvantaged areas was carried out. Results of the survey will contribute to the development of recommendations on necessary policy changes for improved teaching, learning conditions and education quality in impoverished regions of Viet Nam.

In cooperation with the Department of Teachers and Education Administrators of the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET), UNESCO supported the development and implementation of the survey in Dien Bien, Ninh Thuan, Kon Tum, Lai Chau, Gia Lai and Binh Thuan Provinces from 28 May 2017 to 16 June 2017.

Following official endorsement of the Education Sector’s post-2015 Action Plan on Gender Equality in October 2016, this survey has come to contribute to Objective 2 of the Action Plan’s six key objectives, namely “to reduce the gap between boys and girls in access to general education, pay attention to improve the literacy rate of ethnic minority girls and women and those in disadvantaged areas.”

Within the joint MOET-UNESCO Gender Equality and Girls’ Education Initiative, the survey-based assessment addressed policies related to recruitment, wages and training opportunities of teachers working at primary and lower secondary levels, and how such policies have impacted children’s education. Targeted groups mainly included those working in rural, distant, and mountainous areas, which are most often home to ethnic minority groups.

Surveys carried out in the Dien Bien, Ninh Thuan, and Kon Tum Provinces took the form of field surveys, interviews and group discussions as well as online questionnaires in the provinces of Lai Chau, Gia Lai and Binh Thuan. In addition to teachers, members of the Commune’s People’s Committees, managers of Bureaus of Education and Training, school managers, primary and lower secondary school teachers and students, and parents provided further insight on the impact of current teacher policies.

With the participation of around 210 participants, initial data has shown positive impacts of teacher policies on education access for ethnic minority groups. However, preliminary findings in some provinces indicate issues related to poor student performance, number of out of school children, a disconnect between  spoken dialects and the national language taught in school and gender stereotypes relating to boys being perceived as the breadwinners and therefore being more likely to drop out of school to work.

It is anticipated that sudden changes in teacher’s working conditions could potentially have negative impacts on current educational achievements such as increased attendance of schoolchildren, literacy rates and a reduction in child marriage rates. Among the participants, many teachers have communicated feelings of job and financial insecurity. With this, several teachers have expressed the need for clearer information and transparent implementation of education policies, specifically in regards to teacher-working conditions. In addition, trainings and capacity building resources are also needed to equip them with necessary knowledge and skills to better educate students.

With the technical support of UNESCO, the Department of Teachers and Education Administrators will conduct an analysis of collected field data for the development of a report on recommendations for the consideration of education policy makers. It is expected that the report will be processed for its first round of consultation by early July 2017.

For more information, please contact:

  • Ms. Tran Thi Phuong Nhung, Gender Programme Manager, at tt.nhung(at)unesco.org

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