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Vietnam: World Bank-administered GPOBA and East Meets West Foundation to help provide secondary education for poor students

May 23, 2010

Hanoi, Monday 24 May, 2010 – The World Bank, acting as administrator for the Global Partnership on Output-Based Aid (GPOBA), approved a grant for US$3 million for a scheme to increase access to secondary education for poor girls and boys in Vietnam.

Around 7,500 students in eleven provinces – three in the Northern mountainous area and eight others along the Central Coast and Truong Son Mountain Range – are expected to benefit from the scheme.

“The application of the output-based approach to education is innovative in Vietnam, and we are pleased to see that it can be applied to improve access for about 7,500 poor students to high school and professional schools. The Ministry of Education and Training of Vietnam looks forward to the project’s success and potential for scaling-up in the future,” said Mr. Nguyen Quang Hien, Vice Minister of Education and Training of Vietnam.

“This project, one of the first to use an output-based approach in education, will contribute to the Government of Vietnam’s goal of providing universal upper secondary education by 2015-2020,” said Victoria Kwakwa, World Bank Country Director for Vietnam.

Vietnam has made significant progress in education in the last 20 years, achieving nearly universal primary and lower secondary education. The country also has above 50 percent enrollment in upper secondary education, but there are still not enough places for all the promising students. Access rates vary greatly between regions and are lower for girls and for students from ethnic minorities and low-income households. Drop-out rates among these groups are high, often because students are unable to pay tuition fees or need to work to support their families.

Under the scheme, GPOBA will subsidize places in upper secondary schools for lower secondary graduates who are unable to afford the tuition fees. This will help to reduce the drop-out rates and improve the graduation rates for poor students. The participating schools will be both privately owned and operated schools and “semi-private” schools owned by the state but operated privately. These schools will only receive the subsidy after proof of satisfactory delivery of services to poor students, as evidenced by their attendance and moving up to the next grade.

The East Meets West Foundation (EMWF), a non-profit organization that has operated in Vietnam for over 20 years in the education, health, and infrastructure sectors, will be the implementing agent and grant recipient for the scheme.

“EMWF strives to improve education access for poor students in Vietnam and this project is an important milestone for EMWF in achieving this objective through the innovative output-based approach,” said Minh Chau Nguyen, EMWF Country Director for Vietnam.

GPOBA is drawing on funds from the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) for this project.


The Global Partnership on Output-Based Aid (GPOBA) is a global partnership program administered by the World Bank. GPOBA was established in 2003, initially as a multi-donor trust fund, to develop output-based aid (OBA) approaches across a variety of sectors including infrastructure, health, and education. GPOBA’s current donors are the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), which is a member of the World Bank Group, the Directorate-General for International Cooperation of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs (DGIS), the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).

About the East Meets West Foundation

The East Meets West Foundation (EMWF) works in the areas of education, medical and health care, clean water and sanitation, and infrastructure. EMWF’s primary mission is to serve the poor and the disadvantaged in Vietnam and Southeast Asia. In addition to the Vietnam Upper Secondary Education Enhancement project, EMWF is also implementing the Vietnam Scholarship Program to Enhance Literacy and Learning (SPELL), which supports primary and lower secondary education, and the GPOBA-funded Vietnam Rural Water Supply Development project.

Media Contacts
In Washington
Cathy Russell
Tel : (+1) 202 458 8124
In Hanoi
Nghiem Thi Xuan Le
Tel : (+84 -4) 3934 6600 ext. 382