A representative from the World Bank announces the report (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The East Asia and Pacific region has seven of the top ten performing education systems in the world, with schools in China and Vietnam showing significant progress, according to a new report of the World Bank.

Released on March 15, the report “Growing Smarter: Learning and Equitable Development in East Asia and Pacific” pointed out that this is a major accomplishment that offers important lessons to countries around the world.

However, it also noted that up to 60 percent of students are in under-performing schools that fail to equip them with the skills necessary for success.

Highlighting the impressive development in Vietnam’s education system, Raja Bentaouet Kattan, a Lead Specialist at the WB's Education Global Practice, who is also the co-author of the report, praised Vietnam for its comprehensive reform; suitable and effective policies, and investment related to education.  

Vietnamese teachers working in remote and disadvantaged areas have enjoyed higher salary than those in urban areas through receiving allowances, she said.

The country also made a great reform to diversify test methods, thus improving the education quality and assessment basing on students' competence, she added.

The national assessment expansion for subjects such as reading, math, and Vietnamese language, is also one of the most important parts of the country’s education reform process, she noted.

According to the report, student performance isn’t necessarily tied to a country’s income level.

“By age 10, for example, the average Vietnamese student outperforms all but the top students in India, Peru and Ethiopia”, it said.
The report showed ways used by regional nations to improve academic achievements of their students, stressing that the improvement of education quality is needed to maintain economic growth.

It also proposed effective policies to promote learning towards meeting the demand of labour market in the future.

Another key finding of the report is that household incomes do not necessarily determine children’s educational success.

The report laid out concrete steps for improving learning for lagging systems in the region and beyond, starting with ensuring that institutions are aligned so that objectives and responsibilities across the education system are consistent with each other.

It also urged countries to focus on four key areas: effective and equity-minded public spending; preparation of students for learning; selection and support of teachers; and systematic use of assessments to inform instruction. 

The report found that top-performing systems spend efficiently on school infrastructure and teachers, have recruitment processes to ensure the best candidates are attracted into teaching, and provide a salary structure that rewards teachers with proven classroom performance. It found that schools throughout the region increased preschool access, including for the poor, and have adopted student learning assessment into their educational policies.

The report complemented and built on the WB’s World Development Report 2018: Learning to Realize Education’s Promise, which was released in September 2017 and found that without learning, education will fail to deliver on its promise to eliminate extreme poverty and create shared opportunity and prosperity for all.-VNA