On 11 December, EU Ambassador Giorgio Aliberti, head of the European Union Delegation in Vietnam, visited Ca Dy and Ta Bhing – Ta Po preschools in Nam Giang district, Quang Nam province. These schools are piloting gender-responsive teaching and learning in the early years as part of the EU-co-funded GENTLE project.
EU Ambassador Aliberti and a preschool teacher at Ta Bhing – Ta Pơơ preschool, Nam Giang district, Quang Nam province
The GENTLE project transforms preschools in 15 districts in central Vietnam into environments of gender-responsive play-based learning, involving parents (and fathers in particular) to the fullest in the process. The project focuses on developing the capacity of preschool teachers and school leaders to challenge social and gender norms, create new rules, and support children in adopting new, more equitable attitudes and behaviours. The schools are provided with tools to effectively implement gender-responsive play-based learning at school and to advocate for this approach at home with the parents of their young learners.
EU Ambassador Aliberti emphasised that education is very important for future generations: "We focus on gender to ensure equal opportunities for all children, both boys and girls from the early stages of the education process. This is also the top priority of this project”. He continued: “It takes long-term effort to achieve that goal. So, in the short term, VVOB is helping with the pedagogical approach. We train and raise awareness for teachers, school leaders, staff of Department and Bureaus of Education and Training so that they can look at gender from a different perspective. Then, they can communicate with children and communities in an appropriate way”.
EU Ambassador Aliberti and a preschool child at Ca Dy preschool
In the same week,Mr Paul Janssen, Ambassador of Belgium to Vietnam, visited Kon Tum province. He visited Mang Canh preschool in Kon Plong district, one of the selected preschools that is actively engaged in the BaMi programme, which mitigates barriers to learning for preschool children project. Funding this programme, the Belgian Development Cooperation contributes to an improved access to quality early childhood education for all children.
Belgium Ambassador Jansen at Mang Canh preschool, Kon Plong district, Kon Tum province
The BaMi programme focuses on improving the quality of learning of 3- to 5-year-old children in early childhood education in poor ethnic minority districts in 3 provinces in Central Vietnam: Kon Tum, Quang Nam and Quang Ngai. The programme strengthens the competences of preschool teachers on process-oriented child monitoring and enables preschool teachers to address gender, environment and language barriers to learning and participation and to ensure deep level learning among all children. The programme also strengthens the school-based professionalisation for preschool teachers. In each province, the programme partners with the Department of Education and Training on a Professional Teacher Development trajectory for the preschool leaders and teachers in their respective districts.
Belgium Ambassador Jansen meeting with Kon Tum Provincial People Committee
Meeting with the Provincial People Committee and relevant agencies, the Ambassador expressed his pleasure to visit Kon Tum province. He appreciated the collaboration between VVOB and provincial authorities in Vietnam for putting a lot of effort into improving the quality of early childhood education. He looks forward to the positive changes in Belgium-funded project areas as well as the close and effective cooperation of authorities at all levels in Kon Tum during the programme implementation.
The visits of the two Ambassadors have emphasised the importance of early childhood education. In the next 2 years, VVOB and its partners in Vietnam will continue implementing the two projects and extend their impact to more districts and preschools in Quang Nam, Quang Ngai and Kon Tum.