The rate of dropout has reduced remarkable to almost zero at primary schools in mountainous areas in the central province of Quang Nam thanks to a project to enhance school quality funded by foreign donors.

According to Nguyen Tan Tu, head of the Primary Education Section of Quang Nam province’s Education and Training Department, the School Education Quality Assurance Programme (SEQAP) has been implemented at 48 primary schools in 8 poor mountainous districts since March 2010.

Under the project, the target schools received assistance to shift from half-day to full-day attendance, including training and guidance materials for teachers.

In particular, more than 5,800 students at the schools, who are mostly from ethnic minority groups, have been provided with free lunch in order to keep them at school. At the same time, more classrooms and other facilities have been built to serve the needs of students during full-day school attendance.

As a result, the rate of attendance has increased at these schools while no students have quit school since the project began. Study results have also improved among ethnic minority students.

The SEQAP project has been carried out in 36 cities and provinces nationwide and will continue until December, 2015 with an investment capital of 186 million USD, of which 27.9 million USD came from the Vietnamese government and the rest financed by the WB, the UK Department for International Development and the Belgian Development Agency.

It is designed to improve the quality of primary education, raise ethnic minority children’s study results and create equal education opportunity for all children.-VNA