As many as 26 primary and nine secondary schools in the Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang are providing lessons on ethnic minority languages besides the regular classes in Vietnamese for local children of these ethnic groups.

Most of the schools are in districts and towns where there are large communities of ethnic minorities.

The ethnic language classes have been underway since the 2004-2005 school year to help the youngsters study and promote their ethnic culture-art values and traditional customs, according to the provincial Department of Education and Training.

Vietnam is home to about 12 million people of ethnic minority groups, accounting for 15 percent of the nation’s population. The Vietnamese Government issued Decree 82/2010-ND-CP in July, 2010 stipulating the teaching and study of the oral and written forms of ethnic languages to keep them from falling into obligation.

In addition, many local TV stations have broadcast programmes in ethnic languages, while other forms of media are also striving to reach out to the ethnic minority audience.

The Vietnam News Agency (VNA), for example, has published a monthly bilingual pictorial magazine – the Dan Toc va Mien Nui (Nationalities and Mountain) - in eight ethnic minority languages, which are Khmer, Bhana, Jrai, Ede, Cham, Mong, K’ho and M’nong in parallel with Vietnamese.

It plans to issue three more bilingual versions of the pictorial magazine for ethnic minority readers as from 2015.-VNA