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NEWS UPDATES 12 August 2010

Kindergarten for all Vietnamese 5-year-olds

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Viet Nam will strive to standardise kindergarten education for 5-year-olds by 2015, Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan said on Tuesday. He added that the education of children younger than five would also not be forgotten.

He was speaking at an online conference held with education managers of 63 provinces and cities nationwide to discuss universal kindergarten provision for 5-year-old children.

The project, which was approved earlier this year, is aimed at providing education at kindergarten level for all five-year-olds across the country in order to prepare them for primary school.

Given the context of the country's difficulties in providing adequate facilities and sufficient numbers of teachers, Nhan said provinces and cities, while prioritising the building of more schools and improving education quality, must also consider planning for three- and four-year-olds.

Tran Xuan Nhi, vice chairman of the Viet Nam Study Promotion Association, agreed, saying that if the education sector was not able to do that, the target of universal education provision would not be stable in the long-term.

Nhi suggested the development of various kinds of kindergarten groups and classes. The country intends to spend more than VND14.6 trillion (US$736 million) on the project, which will cover the construction of new schools, classrooms, study and teaching aids, training for teachers and support for poor students.

Also under the project, 86 kindergarten schools meeting national standards will be built in 62 poor districts, of which 24 are mountainous districts in six provinces bordering the Central Highlands.

Director of HCM City's Department of Education and Training Huynh Cong Minh said a survey of 723 kindergarten schools in the city had proved that children who are well-prepared for infant school had recorded better academic results.

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