“Extraordinary” Educational Achievements in Viet Nam


Vietnam’s achievements in primary and secondary education over the last two decades are extraordinary. Out of 65 countries, Vietnam ranked 17th in maths and 19th in reading – surpassing both the United States and the United Kingdom – in the 2012 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), the worldwide scholastic performance measure of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Here’s another headline you don’t see every day.  Congratulations to Viet Nam on its successes in the realm of education, especially math and science achievement.

rise logoThis £4.2 million ($5.4 million), six-year research project is being carried out by Research on Improving Systems of Education (RISE), a project launched in 2015 “to conduct high-quality research to build a body of world-class evidence to inform education policy, and to raise learning outcomes for children in the developing world.”

Research in Vietnam, and in at least five other countries, seeks to shift emphasis away from long-standing, input-oriented goals – children’s attendance in schools – and toward output-oriented achievements – increased literacy and numeracy skills.

RISE is supported by £27.6 million  ($35.7 million) in funding from the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), whose contribution has enabled RISE to add a sixth country.

Specifically, the research will “undertake a systematic evaluation of Vietnam’s education system by analysing the status and impacts of past, current and upcoming educational reforms. The aim is to understand how policy levers made Vietnam’s exceptional achievements possible, and whether and how new reforms are able to build on its achievements.”  The key questions are:

  1. What explains Vietnam’s high levels of student learning?
  2. What impact will current and planned curriculum reforms have on student educational outcomes?

I’m pleased to see this kind of research being conducted and look forward with great anticipation to the results.  Follow this link to learn more about this research project and the Viet Nam country research team, a multidisciplinary group of nine researchers from Viet Nam, the US, the UK, and the Netherlands.

MAA

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