Vietnam: Framework on Building a learning society in the period 2012-2020, issued in 2013

© Sasha Popovic

Rationale of the policy

The framework for the period 2012–2020 is a follow up of the reviewed implementation of the framework for the period 2005–2010. After obtaining a number of important results, the new policy aims to overcome its remaining limitations and shortcomings. A retrospect included in the document shows that the objectives of the framework 2005–2010 have not been achieved to their full extent. Framework 2012–2020 draws on this conclusion and sets the overall objective to achieve greater awareness among people of the fact that continuous lifelong learning is crucial to the development of all citizens. Favourable conditions shall be created to guarantee equal access to lifelong learning for all people, independent of age and learning level.

Concept of lifelong learning

Lifelong learning is understood as the main component of a learning society. A society like this accommodates citizens who voluntarily commit themselves to learn continuously, especially in non-formal places such as community learning centres or continuing education institutions. This leads to increased efficiency and productivity. The enterprise of lifelong learning depends on the state which is responsible for investing in educational institutions and creating policies with the aim to encourage all citizens to learn throughout their lives. All agencies, no matter of their status, are responsible for creating favourable conditions for lifelong learning.

Main challenges

  • Relapses into illiteracy especially in hard-to-reach rural areas
  • Continuing education centres are still underdeveloped in some rural areas as investments are pending; most community learning centres run inefficiently and lack material
  • Limited awareness among various administrative levels and agencies of the goals and benefits of building a learning society
  • The implementation process lacks the full enthusiasm of some stakeholders, concrete implementation plans and coordination mechanisms
  • Capacities of community centre teachers are not sufficient and competences are too weak; policies for illiteracy eradication are outdated and mismatch the current needs

Main targets and measures

  • Strengthen distance learning courses at universities and integrate information and communication technology in all education centres
  • Increase the number of community learning centres and district-level continuing education centres
  • Communicate goals, significance and benefits of lifelong learning: conduct awareness-raising activities; strengthen existing movements and initiate new ones; organise an LLL week annually; and reward organisations/individuals with outstanding performances on LLL
  • Organise various forms of lifelong learning in the non-formal education sector: media shall disseminate knowledge and deliver distance education programmes; and strengthen active role of cultural institutions in lifelong learning activities (organising workshops, discussions, games, contests; using creative spaces in museums or the like; compiling learning materials)
  • Strengthen and develop community/continuing education centres: enhance performance quality of the centres; expand the scope and activities beyond urban borders; improve management boards of the centres; provide regular training to managers and teachers; define learners’ needs and diversify curricula accordingly
  • Strengthen foreign language and information technology centres and provide training for their teachers
  • Restructure teaching, testing and assessment methodologies: promote self-learning and research abilities; strengthen learners’ activeness, commitment and creativity; and deploy mechanisms for recognition of self-learning
  • Define responsibilities in the enterprise of lifelong learning: collect annual implementation reports by all stakeholders; establish local steering committees at all levels; stakeholders shall elaborate on policies to support citizens to participate in lifelong learning; enterprises shall set up a ‘Lifelong learning fund’
  • International cooperation: draw on UN agencies and nongovernmental organizations for financial support and expertise; organise conferences and workshops on lifelong learning; exchange with countries more experienced in lifelong learning; send staff abroad for exchange training

The building of a learning society targets people of all ages, in all conditions, as well as geographical areas that are less developed. It is based on the development of the formal education system and continuing education, but primarily targets everything that lies beyond.

Particular feature of the policy

The policy displays a clear scheme for implementation. The Ministry of Education and Training holds the lead agency for the implementation of the Framework. A National Steering Committee on Building a Learning Society was established for the enterprise of lifelong learning. On the local level there are provincial steering committees responsible for the respective provinces. The committees meet on a regular basis to share experiences and achievements. Several ministries in charge of socio-political affairs instruct the development of sub-frameworks for organisations, unions and companies. The policy paper presents the responsibilities of each stakeholder involved in the implementation process, which are not only ministries, but also corporations and associations like Vietnam Television, The Central Committee of the Vietnam Fatherland Front, Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union Central Committee, and many more.

Relevant document that the strategy refers to:

  • Government of Viet Nam. 2005. Framework on Building a Learning Society in the period 2005–2010

Stakeholders responsible for implementation of the strategy:

  • Ministry of Education and Training
  • National Steering Committee on Building a Learning Society
  • Provincial Steering Committee
  • Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development
  • Ministry of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs
  • Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism
  • Vietnam General Confederation of Labour

Further readings and web links:

Issuing Body

National Assembly of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam