Ethnic students at the No Trang Long Boarding School in Dak Lak province (Photo: VNA)

Dak Lak (VNA) – The Central Highlands region and neighbouring mountainous districts have set their sight on providing pre-school education to all five-year-old children by 2020.

They plan to have 10-12 percent of children between 0 and 2 years old sent to nursery schools and 85-90 percent of those between 3 and 5 sent to kindergartens in the next five years.

About 25-30 percent of the kindergartens in the targeted areas are expected to meet national standards by 2020, according to a meeting on education, training and vocational training development in Dak Lak province on February 29.

Participants at the event, including those from the Central Highlands Steering Committee; the Ministry of Education and Training; and the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, urged for the establishment of new kindergartens.

They also asked the Government to consider giving priorities to the targeted region. It needed to expand beneficiaries of free lunch and tuition-fee reduction or exemption; and provide study expense supports for children aged 3-5 from near-poor families and disadvantaged areas.

Meanwhile, the rate of children attending primary schools at school ages is estimated at 99 percent, while the figures at junior high schools and senior high schools are set at 88-90 percent and 80 percent, respectively, in the following years.

The localities will align local vocational training with the national manpower development plan and try to make sure 13-15 percent of the local junior high school graduates enroll in vocational training courses.

They will have 15 universities and junior colleges by 2020, raising the number of undergraduates per 10,000 people to between 235 and 240.

According to Deputy Minister of Education and Training Nguyen Thi Nghia, the Central Highlands region and neighbouring mountainous districts have reached key related targets set for 2011 to 2015.

The rate of children aged 3-5 admitted to kindergartens is about 80 percent, while 98 percent of those attend primary schools at the school age.

All districts that are home to large numbers of ethnic minority people have had boarding schools for ethnic students. The number of undergraduates per 10,000 people now stands at 230, she added.

The Central Highlands region, comprising the provinces of Dak Lak, Kon Tum, Dak Nong, Gia Lai, and Lam Dong and a total area of over 54,600 square kilometres, is home to about 5.5 million people. Ethnic minorities account for 35 percent of the region’s population.-VNA