Helping Ethnic Minority Children Better Understand Vietnamese Language

VVOB, a Belgian Flemish organization which focuses on Education for Development, officially launched the Preschool Teachers Apply Language-rich Teaching Skills and Knowledge (TALK) project in Dien Bien, Quang Tri, and Gia Lai provinces.

Illustrative image. Source: VNA

In the next 5 years (2022-2026), Belgian-Flemish organization VVOB will strengthen the capacities of duty bearers to ensure primary school readiness of children in rural and areas of three provinces. The European organization will work together with the Ministry of Education and Training (MoET), and the Departments of Education and Training of Dien Bien, Quang Tri, and Gia Lai provinces,

The launch of Preschool Teachers Apply Language-rich Teaching Skills and Knowledge (TALK) project, which is funded by Belgian government and implemented by VVOB, was organized on June 29.

The ceremony was held with the participation of Belgian Ambassador to Vietnam Paul Jansen, and delegates from Hanoi National University of Education, the National College for Education, United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF), Save the Children, Plan International and Rikolto organizations.

In remote areas, ethnic minority children do not understand traditional Vietnamese at the start of their school. This creates a learning gap between non- Kinh and Kinh children which the current teaching practices are not apt to help children from ethnic minorities.

Although many early childhood education (ECE) teachers have degrees, few can demonstrate the much-needed practical skills and ECE-specific pedagogies. This deficit is reinforced by school leaders who are not equipped to organize effective professional development trajectories for teachers in those areas. Strengthening the competences of teachers and school leaders is key.

VVOB cooperates with the Departments of Education and Training of Dien Bien, Quang Tri and Gia Lai provinces to implement the TALK project. Most teachers at preschools are of the Kinh ethnic group, are not fluent in using local languages, and have limited ability to improve pedagogical skills to change teaching methods. teacher-centered communication teaching to apply a child-centered approach.

The project aims to capacitate school leaders and education officers to trigger real change at the classroom level via effective emergent literacy practices such as establishing a language-rich learning environment, making sure preschools offer a better preparation for children from ethnically diverse and disadvantaged districts to enter primary school with language skills that will make them ready for learning.

Hoang Thi Dinh, deputy director of the MoET's Early Childhood Education Department at the event.

Speaking at the launch, Hoang Thi Dinh, deputy director of the MoET's Early Childhood Education Department, said that she is excited to see that the TALK project will be put into operation this year. "We look forward to the innovations and approaches that the project will bring. The Ministry of Education and Training will coordinate to if it achieve the desirable result.”

Country programmes manager at VVOB in Vietnam Karolina Rutkowska affirmed that with the goal of addressing the complex educational challenges posed by the TALK project, achieving these goals requires close cooperation of the Early Childhood Education Department as well as partner organizations such as the Vietnam National Institute of Educational Sciences, KdG University, CEF school network, and Centre for Experiential Education (CEGO).

Both partnerships and collaborations are essential in VVOB's approach, and we hope that together we can deliver better quality education and educational equity for children in different regions. areas where many ethnic minorities live together, said Rutkowska.