Vietnam is a lower middle-income country with a population of 88 million and per-capita income was $1,300 in 2012. Despite strong economic performance over the past decade, poverty is still an issue and the country ranks 121h out of 187 countries in the UNDP Human Development Index. Annual economic growth is steady, growing from 5.9% to 6.3 % over the last four years.
Education in Vietnam
Vietnam joined GPE in 2003 when its education partners endorsed the Education for All Action Plan 2003-2015. In 2012, the country updated its Education Development Strategic Plan 2011-2020, which provides the context and structure for most of the improvements in the sector.
Vietnam's sector plan focuses on equity and improving the quality of education for primary schools, especially in disadvantaged areas. The country policy "Fundamental School Quality Level Standards" provided universal access to education and ensured that minimal conditions were met in every primary school.
The Government and its partners worked closely to develop the 2011-2020 Education Strategic Development Plan. The Local Education Group, which includes donors, international development organizations and civil society organizations, meets regularly under the government leadership.
Vietnam received a GPE grant of $84.6 million in June 2012 for the Vietnam Escuela Nueva project. This is an adaptation of the well-known Escuela Nueva program in Colombia. The project introduces the use of new teaching and learning practices in classrooms in 1,447 primary schools, most of which are in the most disadvantaged provinces in Vietnam. The project, which expects to reach 440,000 children, wants children to be cognitively engaged, and independent and innovative thinkers. The project is expected to bring about system-wide transformation through pedagogical innovation.
In Vietnam, 8% of primary school age children are not in school (2009). The country has achieved a high youth literacy rate, with 97% of 15-24 year olds being literate (2010). The number of primary school teachers increased steadily from 2008 to 2012 to reach 366,045 teachers in 2012. (Source: UIS)