Education in Vietnam has evolved significantly since French colonial rule ended in the mid-20th century, when up to 95 percent of the Vietnamese population was illiterate. In the 1980s, the Doi Moi economic reforms shifted the country toward a more liberal economy, which allowed more funding for education. The education system has made significant strides since then, with 97 percent of elementary-age students having enrolled in school in 2009.
However, extreme poverty in rural regions remains a serious obstacle to the quality of education in Vietnam. Not every child remains in school after enrollment, and teachers in rural areas usually aren’t as well-trained as teachers in urban areas because of lower pay. Furthermore, many families cannot afford the cost of textbooks, uniforms and transportation. Even worse, many children are put to work once they reach a certain age to provide their families with an additional source of income.
Making sure that children have continuous access to education is a vital part of interrupting the cycle of poverty. Although considerable progress has been made in school enrollment in recent years, the nation still has a long way to go in the isolated rural regions. ChildFund aims to improve access to education in Vietnam through the Child Rights and Child Protection program, which emphasizes the importance of education to parents and other caregivers. Our initiative also supports the training of teachers to create high-quality, child-focused learning environments that support children’s academic needs.