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Six years of supporting early childhood development in Gia Lai

June 16, 2018 | 10:08

After 6 years, the “Gia Lai Early Childhood Care and Development” project has reached 162,000 children aged 0-8, almost 10,000 teachers/staff from preschools and elementary schools, along with families and communities in the province.

(VNF) - After 6 years, the “Gia Lai Early Childhood Care and Development” project has reached 162,000 children aged 0-8, almost 10,000 teachers/staff from preschools and elementary schools, along with families and communities in the province.

Six years of supporting early childhood development in Gia Lai

At the closing ceremony in Pleiku city. (Photo: gialai.gov.vn)

The closing ceremony of the project was held on June 14th in Pleiku city, marking the end of an astonishing journey from 2012 – 2018.

The event saw the attendance of New Zealand Ambassador in Vietnam, Wendy Matthews; Vice Chairwoman of the Gia Lai People’s Committee, Huynh Nu Thu Ha; and Sharon Kane, Country Director of Plan International.

Beginning from June 2012, the project was funded by the New Zealand Aid Programme, and led by Plan International Vietnam, Gia Lai Department of Education and Training(DOET), and provincial Women Union.

The project, which concludes in October 2018, aims to improve developmental outcomes for young ethnic minority children aged 0-8 from preschools and elementary schools across Gia Lai.

The project particularly focuses on the districts of Dak Po, An Khe, Kbang and Kongchro, as well as replicating the approaches more widely across Gia Lai. The project has a budget of USD 7.2 million of which New Zealand has funded USD 5.6 million.

After 6 years, the project has reached 162,000 children, almost 10,000 teachers/staff from preschools and elementary schools, along with families and communities in the province. Through the project, young ethnic minority children aged 0-8 has received early childcare since the first days, access to quality, culturally appropriate education, and support in school readiness.

Six years of supporting early childhood development in Gia Lai

Ambassador Wendy Matthews. (Photo: New Zealand Embassy - Hanoi, Vietnam/FB)

“I am very pleased to see first-hand the real improvements that this partnership has brought to Gia Lai’s children. 90 per cent of parents are now actively engaging with their 0-3 year olds, and preschool enrolment has increased from 65 per cent to 98 per cent. As a result, performance in maths and Vietnamese for 6 and 7 years olds in elementary schools has increased markedly,” said Ambassador Wendy Matthews during her visit in Gia Lai in June 13th-14th.

“These are more than just numbers, they are real improvements in the lives of children. This success is thanks to the practical training tools developed by DOET and Plan International for parents and teachers.”

“These tools are now strongly owned by the people of Gia Lai and used across the province. I am confident that the Gia Lai authorities will continue to use these training tools and thereby build a brighter future for the children of the province.

“I was also thrilled to visit one of the 18 new pre-schools built by the project, at Hoa Sen. The new facilities have increased access to quality pre-school education and are a tangible symbol of New Zealand’s commitment to supporting Vietnam communities to live to their full potential.”

Many achievements of the project will continue to be replicated in Gia Lai, in order for more children and families to reach Education for All targets.

Six years of supporting early childhood development in Gia Lai

Vice Chairwoman of the Gia Lai People’s Committee, Huynh Nu Thu Ha.

Vice Chairwoman of the Gia Lai People’s Committee, Huynh Nu Thu Ha appreciated the contribution of the project to the development of the province in general and education in particular in recent years. At the same time, she thanked the support of the Government of New Zealand and Plan International Vietnam; and hailed the active efforts of the volunteers, teachers, parents at the commune level, as well as the close attention and guidance of the district and provincial levels.

Ha also committed to continue to maintain and expand its model in the coming time to develop the preschool education models, adding that she hoped the Government of New Zealand and Plan International continue their support for ethnic minorities in the province through other programs and projects./.

Translated by Hien Trinh