Programme Brief – Action Research on Mother Tongue-Based Bilingual Education

Achieving Quality, Equitable Education.

Education in Viet Nam continues to improve in terms of access, retention and completion rates of students in basic education. However, disparities still remain with several groups under performing, particularly among those from poor, remote areas and most often those from ethnic minority groups who comprise approximately 13 per cent of the total population. The literacy rate among ethnic minorities is 90 per cent as compared to that of the Kinh majority of 96 per cent.

Within the education system, striking disparities are evidenced in terms of learning outcomes between Kinh and ethnic minorities in Vietnamese and Mathematics. The Government is now focusing on ensuring the provision of quality education that is relevant to learners. One of the main challenges faced by ethnic minorities in the classroom is the language barrier due to Vietnamese being the official language of instruction, which prevents those who do not speak the language from fully engaging in learning.

The objectives of the Action Research are to:

  • Implement a valid and feasible design of bilingual education in ethnic minority languages and Vietnamese in pre-schools and primary schools;
  • Contribute to the development of policies and practices, including legal frameworks, that will promote the use and development of ethnic minority languages as a means for improving access, quality and equity of education and other social services


Ministry of Education and Training, Viet Nam
© UNICEF Viet Nam