Press Release 2009

Vietnam to Celebrate Global Education Campaign Week

Bac Ninh – A national reading festival, Big Read, will take place on April 23 in Bac Ninh to promote literacy for youth and adults, and lifelong learning. This is the key event that Vietnam organizes during the week of campaigning on education called Global Action Week for Education. The week is launched by the Global Campaign for Education and participated by millions people in over 120 countries worldwide.

Under the theme ‘Read for a better life’, children, parents, teachers, other community members, Government representatives and local officials will jointly read real short stories focusing on the important of education, how reading and writing have changed lives of people and how illiterate adults miss out of the chance that an education gives them in life.

“The campaign this year aims to raise awareness about the vital roles of education, promoting learning opportunities for youth and adults and calling authorities of all levels and all organizations in Viet Nam, local and national, to commit to adult literacy as well as life-long learning for its citizens”, said Mr. Nguyen Vinh Hien, Vice-Minister of Education and Training (MOET).

At the national event, results from the writing competition titled ‘Read for a Better life’ will be announced. Launched in early March, the competition drew great interest from people from all walks of life, hence the number of 60,000 entries from 63 provinces in the country. There is a wide range of contestant ages with some children as young as students of Grade 1 and the oldest aged 84 years old. The entries included moving real life stories of people who overcome the illiteracy, people who are devoted to bring literacy to communities, or those who could only dream about being able to read and write. Besides the main prizes, interesting entries will be selected to print the Big Read for Viet Nam and/or posted on the competition’s blog.

The Big Read at local level will take place in most provinces and cities throughout Vietnam during the week from April 20-26.

This year’s The Big Read in Viet Nam is co-organised by MOET, in cooperation with the Global Campaign for Education coalition of international organisations in Viet Nam, including ActionAid, Aide et Action, ChildFund, Church World Service, Global Advance Propramme, Oxfam Great Britain, UNESCO, UNICEF, Vietnam – Belgium Education Project, World Vision and the local NGO UCNEV.

BACKGROUND:
1. WHAT and WHY the Global Action Week for Education (GAW)?

The Global Campaign for Education (GCE), founded in 1999, brings together major non-governmental organizations and teachers’ unions in more than 120 countries. The GCE promotes access to education as a basic human rights and raises public awareness to create the political will for governments and other leaders in the international community to fulfill their promises to provide at least a free, public basic education for all people, particularly children, women and all disadvantaged and marginalised sections of society.

Every April, the GCE organizes a week of campaigning on education called Global Action Week (GAW) to generate a global call from all stakeholders to demand that governments deliver the right to education for all. The GCE demands that the international community and governments of the South take immediate action to implement the Education for All (EFA) goals and strategies agreed by 185 world governments at Dakar in April 2000.

Since the GCE started campaigning, the number of children out of school has gone down from 100 million to 75 million, and the number of illiterate adults from 871 million to 774 million.

Education for All goals remain the guiding benchmarks for how countries should enable all citizens to realise their potential, their rights and lift themselves out of poverty, and to enjoy the quality of life.

Vietnam is committed to the goals of EFA within the Dakar Framework of Action. The National EFA Action Plan 2003-2015 developed by the Ministry of Education and Training with technical assistance of UNESCO was approved by the Prime Minister in July 2003 (Government Document No: 872/CP-KG, dated 2 July 2003). This constitutes a major step forward in Vietnam’s commitment to achieving the goals of EFA and to continuously renovating and modernizing the education sector in Viet Nam.

2. What is the theme for GAW 2009?
The Global Campaign for Education has a different theme each year. This year’s theme is ‘Youth and Adult Literacy and Lifelong Learning’. The campaign 2009 aims at increasing local awareness on literacy and lifelong learning, and calling for the investment of the governments, concerned departments, social organizations and community members in non-formal education, especially the education for adults.

For more information on the GAW 2009 in Vietnam, please contact:

1. Mr Nguyen Van Ngu – Chairman of the Education for All National Coordination Board under Ministry of Education and Training
Tel: 04 – 386 81370

2. Ms Nguyen Thi Hoang Yen – Communications Officer of Oxfam GB
Tel: 04 – 394 54362 / Mobile: 0904 224 584
Email: nthyen@oxfam.org.uk

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