|A national consultation on transforming education was held on Wednesday by the Ministry of Education and Training with support from UNICEF and UNESCO. — VNA/VNS Photo
HÀ NỘI — A national consultation on transforming education was held on Wednesday by the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET).
It has support from UNICEF and UNESCO and the participation of key stakeholders including relevant ministries, universities, schools, and organisations of people with disabilities.
The aim is to develop a shared vision, commitment, and alignment of action across constituencies to transform education in Việt Nam according to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The outcomes of this consultation will contribute to the Transforming Education Global Summit in September, as convened by the United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres.
The Global Summit seeks to mobilise political ambition, action, solutions, and solidarity to transform education to take stock of efforts to recover pandemic-related learning losses; to reimagine education systems for the world of today and tomorrow, and revitalise national and global efforts to achieve SDG4 on inclusive and equitable quality education.
Pauline Tamesis, United Nations Resident Coordinator to Việt Nam, said: “With SDG4 in mind, to ensure that all children and young people complete equitable and quality education, an education that leads to relevant and effective learning outcomes by 2030, it is time for a revamp.
"We need to prioritise the issues in the education sector that will help Việt Nam achieve the education-related SDG targets: issues such as inequity in access, learning loss, digital divide, gender gaps, education financing gaps, and specific needs of education for particular groups of children and young people.”
“I encourage us all to make space, to hear the voices of those most affected – the children and young people themselves. As a part of this national consultation and the global summit, the United Nations is consulting young people, listening to their experiences, as well as the solutions that they want to contribute; recognising them as important partners at the table in the transformation of education.”
The pandemic has caused the largest disruption in learning in recorded history. Data from the SDG Indicators on Children and Women Survey conducted by the General Statistics Office (GSO) in 2020-21 confirmed the wide digital divide, and the lack of good ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) skills among girls and boys, which limits their access to distance learning.
Data showed that the divide has broadened between ethnic groups, rural and urban areas, and the richest and poorest segments of the population. It also spotlighted worrying trends, including the gender disparity, with a mere 51.4 per cent of boys completing upper secondary compared with 65 per cent of girls. This makes it much harder for children to acquire the technical and higher-order skills needed to thrive in increasingly demanding labour markets.
In addition, a recent study supported by UNICEF showed that there has been a significant increase in the number of upper secondary children facing mental health challenges, which requires urgent action across sectors – education, child protection, health, and social protection.
“Innovative approaches are needed to serve as levers for game-changing transformations of education policy and practice in the medium and longer-term. Therefore, active involvement and support of different government ministries, such as health, labour, environment, social development, finance, information and telecommunications, and youth are essential to ensure the commitments are turned into action, with an investment to reform," shared Rana Flowers, UNICEF Representative, as she wrapped up the national consultation.
Christian Manhart, UNESCO Country Representative, added: “This meeting comes at a critically important time, as Việt Nam rethinks and reaffirms its approaches to the achievement of SDG4.
"UNESCO is actively supporting education systems all over the world to engage in a global debate on how knowledge, education, and learning need to be reimagined in a world of increasing complexity, uncertainty, and precarity and the results of this discussion will be important contributions.”
Deputy education minister Nguyễn Văn Phúc said that while dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, the ministry had made several policies to help minimise the disruptions caused to learning and education, but this challenging time has also posed strategic questions on the future of the country’s education, the real demands for national education transformation.
Participants in Wednesday’s national consultation will work on crucial steps to address key challenges faced by the education system with the objective of ensuring the right investment to tackle the learning loss; to guarantee children and young people learn in safe, healthy schools; to skill children for the world of work today and in the future; and to ensure that SDG 4 is brought back on track. — VNS