Vietnam for the issue was the significant lack of

Vietnam
is one of the leading developing countries in improving quality of education.
The country has achieved many significant achievements over the last decades,
with the most outstanding universal
primary education and is moving towards universal lower secondary education.
The State budget for education has also increased from 3.2% of the GDP to 6.8%
of its GDP in 2010, according to a record by World Bank. However, there are
many issues remains concerning the early education for the age before 5. The country
needs to further improve the quality and relevance of its education to meet the
demand of a growing economy. Early childhood education for children below the
age of six is the most important entry point for making young children ready
for later education progress.

Preschool is an emerging challenge in Vietnam for
two main reasons: the lack of resources and the economic situation. By now,
only seventeen provinces have achieved universal five-year-old preschool
education. In its 2010 annual report, UNICEF accordingly
stated that the enrollment for schools for the age of five and under was only
5-8%. The main reason held accountable for the issue was the significant lack
of kindergartens in the country. There are too many schools while the demand is
too big. The system of public preschool is too overload that even children from
families with permanent residency status can not attend school, let alone
children of migrants from the countryside provinces. According to some data
from VinaCapital Foundation, only 29.4% nursery-age children can enroll in
public school. The sadder fact is that in several provinces, this rate drops to
lower than 10%. The lack of schools comes along with the lack of quality
teachers and teaching resources

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The second reason for the low participation in
early education if funding. The rich and the poor gap leaves many less
fortunate parents with no choice but to leave their children at home until the
age when education becomes compulsory, which is the elementary school. As
presented in UNICEF’s 2010 report, 80% of children from rich families are in
pre-schools, while that number of working class is about 20% only.

Vietnam is addressing the issue with the Early
Childhood Care and Education (ECCE). Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE)
in Vietnam provides nurturing, caring and learning services for children from 3
months old to 6 years old. Particularly, crèches accept infants from 3 months
to 3 years of age. Kindergartens accept children from 3 to 5 years of age. ECCE
initial objectives were:

”          To improve the quality of care of children before they
reach the age of six. To reduce the child malnutrition rate to less than 15% in
ECCE units. To expand the system of crèches and kindergartens in all types of
residential areas, especially in rural and disadvantaged areas, in order to
attract 18% and 67% of under 3 and 3-to-5 year-old children respectively. As
for 5-year-olds alone, 95%22 will be mobilized to prepare them for entering
Grade 1 of primary education. To strengthen the dissemination of knowledge and
advisory activities for grandparents and parents in relation to children’s
development, nurturing and education.” (World Bank)

The new policy tackles
issues such as lack of pre-school educational institutions, but above all,
inequality and exclusion in its society, giving all children equal opportunity
and rights to receive education during this crucial period of their
development.