$87.6 million project stops after 3 years of operation

VietNamNet Bridge - The Ministry of Education and Training's (MOET) project on applying VNEN (the Vietnam Escuela Nueva) model at general schools has not succeeded. 


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When the $87.6 million project began to be applied on a trial basis at general schools in January 2012, it was praised by educators as the ‘ideal teaching model’ for Vietnam. 

In 2011-2012, VNEN was applied at 24 schools in 12 districts of six provinces. In 2012-2013, it was applied at 1,447 primary schools in 63 cities and provinces. In 2015-2016, more than 4,000 schools applied the model. 

However, local authorities and parents don’t think the model is ‘ideal’. They have decided to stop VNEN at local schools after a short period of application.

As soon as the 2016-2017 academic year began, the Ha Tinh province’s chair received an appeal from many parents who had children going to the Chu Van An Secondary School in Huong Khe district, asking to free their children from VNEN.

When the $87.6 million project began to be applied on a trial basis at general schools in January 2012, it was praised by educators as the ‘ideal teaching model’ for Vietnam. 

A parent in the district asked the teacher to allow her daughter to repeat the second grade after she discovered that the girl’s learning capacity was very weak.

“My daughter was in the second grade in 2015-2016 and she studied with the VNEN program," she said. 

Not only in Ha Tinh, but parents in Nghe An, Ha Giang, Ba Ria – Vung Tau and other localities have also shouted for help, asking to stop applying VNEN.

Le Ngoc Diep, a senior official of the HCMC Education Department, one of the implementer of the VNEN project, said MOET tried to take full advantage of the non-refundable aid to make Vietnamese students approach the educational model with similarities.

He thought it was difficult to apply the entire model in Vietnam, but some features fit Vietnamese conditions.

Experts agreed that VNEN is a good educational model. However, to apply it, Vietnam needs to have necessary conditions, including the infrastructure and the teaching staff trained to teach students in accordance with VNEN.

The headmaster of a primary school in HCMC said her school would apply VNEN only if it is a must, while it would not do this on the voluntary basis.

“The model shows too many problems that makes it difficult to be applied in large cities,” she commented.

“It is now the era of information technology. VNEN nearly doesn’t mention the application of IT devices in teaching and learning,” she said.

In October 2016, MOET released a short report about the VNEN model application. 

While admitting that the desired effects could not be gained because of the hasty implementation of the plan, MOET still encouraged schools to apply the model on the voluntary basis.


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Thanh Mai

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