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UNESCO expert: Vietnam education reform on right path, recommends better allocation of funds



Dominique Altner, Senior Program Specialist at IIEP (International Institute for Educational Planning), spoke to VietnamNet about the development of Vietnam’s education system in the last five years.

UNESCO expert: Vietnam education reform on right path, recommends better allocation of funds

Dominique Altner, Senior Program Specialist at IIEP

Asked if she thinks the educational sector needs higher investments to reach its goals, the expert said that while Covid-19 has led to a decline in the global economy, Vietnam still had positive growth rate in 2020.

If the current proportion of expenses on education are maintained, the total investment in the sector will increase year after year.

She is more concerned, however, about how to manage resources to serve reforms in the near future: upgrading training quality, raising teacher standards, improving teaching and learning methods, and developing courseware and ensuring credit transfer between education levels, thereby promoting opportunities to access education at all levels.

This means the major challenge lies in investment resource management and allocation, rather than total investment capital.

The expert stressed that Vietnam has defined the issues it needs to focus on and is on the right way to development.

She suggested that in the time to come, it should emphasize diversification of ways to access post-secondary education, and improve vocational training so as to satisfy requirements form the labor market.

The country also needs to build plans to prepare for changes in the future in the population structure. In addition, the internationalization of education may lead to a brain drain, with students not returning to Vietnam after study abroad.

Vietnam has a new general education program associated with basic changes in student assessment methods, teaching methods and materials, and changes in criteria for teacher assessment. All these efforts show strong determination and commitments to improve education quality.

Altner is a lead advisor to the project of the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) that supports the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) in developing Vietnam’s education strategy in the 2021-2030 period.

She said that many changes in Vietnam’s education sector have been made in the last five years. Vietnam has paid importance to social issues related to education, especially the expansion of the preschool system and higher education. For example, it set the goal of universalizing preschool and secondary education.

The rate of children not attending school is low, which is great progress that Vietnam has made compared with many other countries, she noted.

However, she is most impressed with the educational system’s focus on quality.

Vietnam has a new general education program associated with basic changes in student assessment methods, teaching methods and materials, and changes in criteria for teacher assessment. All these efforts show strong determination and commitments to improve education quality.

These are the results of efforts to complete the specific approach followed by Vietnam, and are also attributed to applying international experiences.

Unlike OECD (the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries, which have developed their systems over a long period, Vietnam has to both expand the system and improve training quality at the same time in order to satisfy the requirements of the changing labor market.

The increase in number of informatics and foreign language centers in recent years is clear evidence of the flexibility, encouragement and contribution of the non-state sector in the educational system.

She noted MOET’s role in improving general education quality, especially secondary education in the last 10 years, increasing opportunities for different groups in society to access education.

She warned that Vietnam will face a teacher shortage as an inevitable result of urbanization and increased attention to services and industries.

In the future, when Vietnam joins the group of high income countries, its population growth rate is expected to decline. This means that the number of students at different education levels will be decreasing.

Migration and urbanization will also lead to an unequal allocation of teachers in different economic zones. In some areas, such as the suburbs or large cities there will be teacher shortage, while in other areas, a student shortage will occur (remote areas and disadvantaged areas).

As a specialist at IIEP, Altner is in charge of researching operation policies and ability promotion projects in order to consolidate domestic and regional training establishments in education planning and management.

She designs and provides training courses on professional development at the national level, focusing on a comprehensive approach in analyzing and planning educational sector development, including models for simulating and analyzing the education management functions of ministries. 

Dong Ha



New born babies recover from COVID-19




A newborn baby and mother head home after recovering from COVID-19 in Đà Nẵng. — Photo courtesy of Trần Ngọc  

ĐÀ NẴNG — Two newborn babies who contracted COVID-19 from their mothers have made a full recovering after just a week in hospital.

And four other children, under the age of four, have also been declared coronavirus-free after treatment in the central city of Đà Nẵng.

Director of the city’s Hoà Vang health centre, Dr Nguyễn Đại Vĩnh said the two babies, both boys, tested negative before going home for quarantine and medical checks on Monday.

Vĩnh said the two mothers – who both been had infected with SARS-COV-2 – gave birth on September 7-8 at the field hospital.

He said three other boys under four years old, and a one-year girl all tested negative after two weeks at the hospital. They need two more weeks home quarantine under medical supervision.

Earlier, a newborn baby and mother were also declared healthy and released from the hospital on September 5.

A 101-year-old woman was the oldest patient to recover from COVID-19 on September 1.

The city’s Centre for Disease Control (CDC) said the number of cases has sharply declined in the past three days with a ratio of under 20 each day.

No new community infections were reported on September 12-13, while the number of ‘green zones’ with no community infections has increased from 14 to 23 in just a week.

The city said it has reserved safe traffic routes in green zones for better transportation and take-away services as well as access to traditional markets.

Meanwhile, neighbouring Quảng Nam province has been tracing SARS-COV-2 infection sources at Điện Nam-Điện Ngọc industrial zones in Điện Bàn town after 19 cases were found at three businesses.

Quảng Ngãi People’s Committee also closed all fishing ports to prevent community spread. It eased restrictions in controlled areas that are showing positive results, including Quảng Ngãi city; Trà Phong commune of Trà Bồng District, Tư Nghĩa, Sơn Tịnh and Bình Sơn districts.

The province also planned to bring 200 pregnant women from HCM City, Bình Dương and Đồng Nai for quarantine and prenatal care in their home towns.

It said Quảng Ngãi Fellowman Association donated VNĐ 2 billion (US$87,000) to support people returning home from southern provinces since early June. —


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HCMC begins to ease Covid restrictions



Covid-19 epicenter Ho Chi Minh City has eased some of the stringent social distancing rules that had been in place for weeks.

Starting Thursday inter-district delivery services will be allowed between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. Delivery persons had hitherto not been allowed to cross borders.

Businesses can again use their own delivery staff and no longer have to exclusively use shipping companies.

However, they can only do so within their district and their delivery workers need to be tested every two days for Covid.

Late last month delivery companies were allowed to resume operations in eight districts earlier designated high-risk.

Shipper chờ lấy mẫu xét nghiệm Covid-19 tại quận Gò Vấp, ngày 31/8/2021. Ảnh: Quỳnh Trần/VnExpress

Deliverymen are tested for the new coronavirus in HCMC’s Go Vap District, August 31, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran

Also from Thursday people living in ‘green zones,’ as areas with low risk are called, can go walking and do other exercises in public places though they must wear masks and keep a distance from others.

People can check the status of their area at

Outdoor physical exercises had been banned in the city since July 9 when it started imposing Directive 16, which requires people to stay at home except for “essential” reasons.

The city has also allowed a number of other businesses to resume, though only between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m., including postal and telecommunications services, offices, informatics and schooling equipment sellers.

Also given the green light are those that supporting agricultural production, food production, processing and trading; veterinary facilities; maintenance and repair works; transport machinery and equipment maintenance and repair services; and those that sell vehicle parts.

A man buys bread at a store in HCMCs District 1, September 1, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran

A man buys bread at a store in HCMC’s District 1, September 1, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran

On September 7 food and beverage sellers had been allowed to reopen but only for takeaway and delivery and between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Also from Thursday construction and traffic works can resume. All infrastructure works deemed “not urgent” had been halted on July 22.

Restrictions will be eased to the greatest extent in the three districts of 7, Cu Chi and Can Gio where the pandemic is basically under control.

People in these districts can go grocery shopping once a week at both supermarkets and traditional markets.

It is in these three districts that the city will trial its vaccine ‘green pass’ scheme for two weeks. Pass holders can undertake certain activities without too many restrictions like domestic and international travel and participating in public events.

In the latest Covid wave that hit Vietnam almost five months ago, HCMC has been hit hardest.

The city of 13 million has had more than 315,000 cases and over 12,600 deaths in it while the nation’s tally stands at 641,245 and 16,151.


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Hanoi allows reopening of delivery-only food and drink locations in districts with no community COVID-19



Hanoi on Wednesday allowed restaurants and food and drink establishments to reopen for delivery, starting 12:00 noon Thursday, but only in districts that have recorded no community COVID-19 cases since September 3.

Hanoi allows reopening of delivery-only food and drink locations in districts with no community COVID-19

A food joint opened for delivery/takeaway orders on September 6 in Gia Lam District, considered one of the COVID-19 free areas.

The establishments are also required to close before 9pm every day.

This is part of the urgent document regulating COVID-19 prevention and control measures in the capital city signed by the Chairman of Hà Nội People’s Committee Chu Ngọc Anh.

Other services are also allowed to reopen include stores for stationery, textbooks, and other learning equipment (given that the new school year has started), mechanics, electronics, and home appliances.

Business and service establishments are to operate under the management, supervision and inspection of local authorities, the document noted.

They also must fully implement pandemic prevention measures, including mandatory 5K [khẩu trang (face mask), khử khuẩn (disinfection), khoảng cách (distance), không tụ tập (no gathering), and khai báo y tế (health declaration)] for staff, requiring consumers to scan QR codes to register their visit, regularly performing cleaning and disinfection at the establishment, and limiting direct contacts.

Other than these relaxations, most of the city – especially the inner urban districts – remain under strict lockdown in line with the Government’s Directive 16 since late July.

The city’s leaders asked the people and officials not to let their guard down, be complacent or be hasty in lifting restrictions when preparations and safety precautions are not ready.

The health department is tasked with developing sets of criteria for reopening and lifting of restrictions, based on vaccine coverage and outbreak developments and levels of public compliance with rules, which must be continually updated and reviewed to best reflect the situation.

The city’s competent authorities are asked to devise plans for the resumption of businesses and production activities and accompanying COVID-19 measures after September 21. The plans must be submitted to the People’s Committee and the health department no later than September 17.

The health department must report to the city’s authorities on the feedback from agencies and local governments before September 18, so that a new order on COVID-19 prevention and measures could be issued.

To date, in the fourth wave of infections that have affected the country since late April, Hà Nội Centre for Disease Control and Prevention has logged more than 3,800 COVID-19 cases. Only Thanh Xuân District is considered to be at very high risks, two districts of Hoàng Mai and Đống Đa are high risk, nine districts (Ba Đình, Gia Lâm, Hai Bà Trưng, Hoài Đức, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Đông, Thanh Trì, Thường Tín, Đan Phượng) are considered at risk, while the remaining 18 districts and townships are at a ‘new normal’ level.

Source: VNS


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