The northern mountainous Dien Bien province announced the achievement of its goal to provide universal preschool education for five-year-old children on February 6.

The locality has implemented its universal education plan through 2020 since April 2011. Its four-year effort paid off, as its universal preschool education was recognised for meeting national standards by the Ministry of Education and Training on December 31 last year.

The plan has made positive changes in the local preschool sector and expanded the network of kindergartens across the province.

There are currently 167 kindergartens operating across 769 campuses in all 130 communes, and 64 of the kindergartens were recognised as meeting national standards.

The province also focused on developing school infrastructure with 51 percent of classrooms deemed stable and well-constructed.

The number of children attending preschools was also on the rise with nearly 44,600 enrolled between 2014 and 2015 compared to 30,000 from 2009-2010. All of whom received two classes a day for a full school year and 94 percent were day-boarders.

The number of qualified teachers also increased with about 43 percent of 1,450 kindergarten teachers holding university degrees with another 28 percent holding associates degrees.

Deputy Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Pham Xuan Koi said preschool education lays a solid foundation for the success of universal primary and secondary education efforts.

Dien Bien province is committed to maintaining preschool quality along with encouraging the establishment of private kindergartens as it aims to have 50 percent of local children below 2-years-old and 98 percent of 3-5 year-olds attend school. It hopes to have 60 percent of its preschools meeting national standards by 2020.-VNA