The nuclear family is replacing the extended family in rural areas, according to results of a study of Vietnam’s rural population between 2008-2009, released on Nov. 27.

The study, jointly conducted by Vietnamese and Swedish social institutes in the four provinces of Yen Bai, Tien Giang, Thua Thien-Hue and Ha Nam , showed that the change in family structure reflects the demand for a private life and freedom by married couples.

The nuclear model is seen to reduce familial conflict as opposed to the traditional model where three or four generations may be living together. However, it does pose questions about care and quality of life for the elderly when living independently of their children.

The study touched upon many issues relating to rural families, including investment in education, career orientations and the influence of family on rural children and young people’s knowledge.

It showed that children’s access to school and investment in education depends on each family situation in terms of, for example, household income, the parents’ professions and their knowledge, which creates differences in investment in both spiritual and material life.

The differences bring rise to inequality in children’s chances to access education because their parents have to pay tuition fees.

The difference between tuition fees for each education level prompted the suggestion that education policy should pay attention to the differences between different groups of children in the society, especially those in rural and remote areas./.