Vietnam has defined lifelong learning as a goal and also a solution to raise the quality of human resources and its people’s lives, Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan said.

He was addressing 300 leading educators, policy makers, researchers, UNESCO experts, and professors from universities from the Asia-Europe Meeting Education and Research Hub for Lifelong Learning (ASEM LLL) at a Vietnam forum on lifelong learning – building a learning society.

The forum was jointly organised by the Ministry of Education and Training, the UNESCO office in Hanoi and the ASEM LLL, in Hanoi on Dec. 7.

The Deputy PM said the forum offered Vietnam a chance to learn and share experiences pertaining to the development of a lifelong learning system in service of the building of a learning society.

Lifelong learning in Vietnam is currently based on five forms of education, including formal schools, in-service courses, distance education, educational centres, and community-based learning centres. However, lifelong learning opportunities are only accessible to a very small proportion of population with limited noticeable effectiveness.

At present, Vietnam is working on an education development strategy and a learning society plan for the 2011-2020 period aiming to provide all necessary conditions for people to pursue learning at all stages of their lives, said Nhan.

He also reported that 52 out of Vietnam ’s 63 cities and provinces have met universal primary education standards. Vietnam has set up a total of 9,990 community-based learning centres in communes.

At the forum, the participants from Asia and Europe shared experiences in organising activities proven to be effective in implementing their own lifelong learning strategies.

They discussed the setting up of an open space for ASEM countries to share research results and new ideas and ways to boost academic cooperation in the field among ASEM universities and enhance linkage between politicians and researchers to formulate future policies to broaden the scope of lifelong learning activities.

At the forum, Vietnam inked with Denmark a memorandum of understanding on educational cooperation to lay an important legal foundation to further their education and training cooperation in the future./.