HCM CITY — Educationists from around Southeast Asia are discussing best practices and innovative solutions to achieve inclusive and equitable education at workshop that began in HCM City yesterday (May 12).
Inclusive and equitable quality education, despite great efforts, has remained elusive, especially in developing countries, Dr Hồ Thanh Mỹ Phương, director of the SEAMEO Regional Training Center (SEAMEO RETRAC), said.
The UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development also emphasises this issue, she said.
Comprehensive, strategic and practice-based reforms of educational leadership and management with supporting policies would help address this issue, she said.
Capacity building for teachers and reducing disparities among learners are also needed, she said.
Deputy Minister of Education and Training Assoc Prof Dr Nguyễn Văn Phúc said many indicators of general education in Việt Nam are quite positive.
Talking about Sustainable Development Goal No.4, to “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”, he said after almost seven years of implementation, the early results have been good.
The rate of six-year-olds attending first grade in Việt Nam has reached 99 per cent, second in Southeast Asia behind only Singapore, he said.
The rate of completion of five years of primary school is 92.08 per cent, the top in the region, he said.
The Southeast Asia Primary Learning Metrics showed that in 2019 Vietnamese primary school students topped ASEAN member countries in all three competencies: reading, writing and maths, he said.
“It can be affirmed that Việt Nam will basically complete SDG4 targets on quality and equitable education by 2030 and we will not adjust the targets.
“Until then Việt Nam needs to focus more on two difficult goals, namely the quality of skilled workers meeting the demands of the labour market and equal access to education for vulnerable groups and those with disabilities.
“We all realise the role and significance of education and training in achieving the goals of sustainable development.
“Việt Nam is in the process of innovation, development and integration. We not only strive to achieve the goals of socio-economic development and environmental protection, but also pay close attention to innovation in education and training.
“Through recent reforms of general education, we aimed at developing learners’ knowledge, skills, values, and competencies to achieve national goals that are in line with the UN’s sustainable development goals.”
Currently the Ministry of Education and Training is developing ‘Education Development Indicators’ as a monitoring tool for implementation of the Education Development Strategy for 2021-2030, ensuring general compatibility with SDG4, he said.
In future it would also focus on upgrading school facilities at all levels to ensure a safe and friendly learning environment, and ensure access for people with disabilities, he said.
“We also continue to implement policies to support economically disadvantaged students and those living in remote and difficult areas.
“Besides, we have consistent policies to develop boarding schools for ethnic students, and schools for the gifted to nurture and foster talented students.
“Issues such as gender equity, non-violence in schools and moral education are also among our priorities to ensure an equal and fair educational environment for all students.”
Taking part in the workshop, both online are school leaders, educational experts from universities, schools and educational organisations in HCM City and other provinces in Việt Nam and from more than eight countries in Southeast Asia who are joining on Zoom or Youtube.
The two-day event, titled ‘Enhancing Inclusive and Equitable Quality Education in Southeast Asia through Innovative Educational Leadership and Management,’ is being held by SEAMEO RETRAC and the SEAMEO Secretariat. — – VnExpress News
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