Comprehensive investment into early childhood education across Vietnam will help the country narrow the development gap among regions, World Bank Country Director Victoria Kwakwa has said.

She made the remark at a forum in Hanoi on May 20 which drew representatives from such international organisations as UNICEF, Save the Children and ChildFund, along with nursery teachers from 30 provinces.

The WB official further said that developing early childhood education will create the equality of opportunity since this is the base for children’s learning in the future.

Deputy Minister of Education and Training Nguyen Thi Nghia said despite existing difficulties, Vietnam ’s preschool education has covered almost all communes, helping improve the quality of child care.

As of the end of the 2012-2013 academic year, Vietnam had 13,741 nursery schools, 88 percent of which are run by the State, with 161,480 teachers.

WB expert Wendy Jarrie considered the interaction between teachers and children as the most important factor in education; therefore, equipping teachers with practical skills is necessary.

At the forum, participants discussed the preschool curriculum, the role of families and the community in child care, and education for children of ethnic minority groups and suggested proposals to raise the quality of this branch of education.-VNA