Author(s): London, Jonathan
Pages: 5 p.
The RISE Programme seeks to provide insights to policy-makers on how to improve systems of education in order to promote learning. This paper presents answers to the question about what Vietnam got right as students’ educational achievements surpass the learning of students in far wealthier nations. Key points: a) Many features of Vietnam’s education system and its performance around learning can be traced to specific features of the country's political settlement and an extraordinary and sustained societal commitment to promoting education; b) Public spending on education exceeds 5.5 percent of Vietnam's rapidly expanding GDP, outpacing other countries in the region and in the same income group; c) Despite international test results, the general consensus in Vietnam is that the education system is underperforming and the knowledge, learning, and skills that Vietnamese children need (and want) remains lacking; d) Although many efforts have been made to reduce inequality in the school system, there is an increasing sense that it is not what you know, but who you know and whether individuals can afford the informal costs associated with quality education in Vietnam; e) Vietnam displays high levels of public engagement around education, with extensive coverage and debate on education policy; f) Vietnam’s education system, like education systems in all countries, is deeply embedded in its social context.