Hanoi, September 19, 2013 – The Vietnam School Readiness Promotion Project (SRPP) is officially launched today, with an aim to raise school readiness for 5 year old children, in particular for the disadvantaged group and children from ethnic minority groups.
Improving education outcomes for the population is an important part of Vietnam’s economic and social development agenda, and has been defined as one of the three breakthrough areas in its Socio-Economic Development Strategy for 2011-2020.
Investing in early childhood education is a key step towards building high quality human resources as Vietnam strives to become a modern, industrialized market economy.
“Overwhelming evidence from around the world shows that many of the thinking and language skills as well as social and behavioral skills are formed in the early years of a child’s life,” says Xiaoqing Yu, Human Development Sector Director for the World Bank in East Asia and Pacific region. “If you want to make education more equitable, if you want to enhance everyone’s chances to take advantage from Vietnam’s growing economy, if you want to tackle poverty –early childhood development and education is one of your most promising tools.”
According to a survey introduced at the launching, about half of Vietnam’s 5 year old children are at risk of lacking at least one area of skill needed to start schooling. The Early Development Instrument survey, conducted by the Ministry of Education and Training, Russia Education Aid for Development, Canada’s Offord Institute and the World Bank and the WB and the World Bank, also shows that the percentage of children not ready for school is highest in children of ethnic minority and of disadvantaged background.
The Vietnam School Readiness Promotion Project is designed to address this problem by raising school readiness for children entering primary education, through supporting selected elements of Vietnam's national program on “Universal Early Childhood Education for 5 year old Children 2010-2015 (Decision 239). The project supports efforts to expand full-day preschool enrollments, improve capacity for preschool quality assurance and strengthened professional expertise of teachers and principals.
The funding of 100 million USD for this project comes from the International Development Association – the World Bank’s concessional lending arm for poor countries.