A seminar has been held in Ho Chi Minh City to seek ways to promote sustainable development of education and training in the Mekong Delta region, which lags far behind other areas in the field.

According to Nguyen The Nghia, Director of the National Centre for Strategy and Policy Research, education development poses great challenges to the region’s sustainable development.

He said that only 32.1 percent of regional labourers aging from 15 years and above graduated from primary schools. The rates of those who have yet to attend school and have no qualifications were 7.8 percent and 26.6 percent, respectively.

The Mekong Delta is also facing a reality that the quality of human resources has not met the region’s socio-economic development requirements.

A research presented at the event revealed that the region’s workforce rate accounts for 22 percent of the country’s population, but almost all lack necessary skills. Around 70-80 percent of local labourers have yet to join vocational training courses.

The Mekong Delta has a total area of around 40,000 square kilometres and is home to a population of 18 million. It is a major aquaculture region and the largest rice producer in Vietnam.

However, the number of students studying agro-aquaculture and forestry in universities in the region remains low, resulting in a limit in education of these majors.

Participants said regional localities should build a plan developing their human resources based on the region’s socio-economic development targets, focusing on the region’s strengths of agriculture and aquaculture.

They proposed that training institutions and enterprises need to enhance cooperation to devise target training programmes suitable with each regional locality’s demand, while labour export to foreign markets should be promoted.

Local authorities should pay attention to building practical and appropriate incentives to attract qualified labourers to return to work in their hometowns, experts said.-VNA