Reallocating financial loan for textbook writing in Vietnam

Out of the US$77 million borrowed from the World Bank (WB) as Official Development Assistance (ODA) for the project ‘New General Education Curriculum’ in Vietnam, $16 million is allocated for the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) to write textbooks. However, none of the recently introduced first grade textbook is from this ministry.

Reallocating financial loan for textbook writing in Vietnam

Explaining this situation, Mr. Nguyen Xuan Thanh – Deputy Director General of the Secondary Education Department under MOET cum Director of the project ‘Supporting the New Education Curriculum’ – shared that the investment for the new general education curriculum in Vietnam is around VND1,800 billion (approx. $80 million), $77 million of which comes from ODA loan. As planned, around $16 million is used for textbook writing of MOET although Resolution No.88/2014/QH13 clearly states the policy to socialize textbook preparing.

MOET at first announced to hire qualified editors and writers for a new textbook collection for all graded. Yet, there were not enough candidates to finish this goal. Meanwhile, other publishers are better prepared and have already completed their own textbooks for evaluation. Therefore, MOET proposed that the Prime Minister not use the loaned budget for this task anymore.

Mr. Thanh also mentioned that this 16-million-dollar amount was also planned to write bilingual textbooks for ethnic minorities and Braille ones for the blind.

However, with this pleasant turn, MOET is able to save a large sum of money for other necessary activities such as teacher and educational manager training for more than 1 million people, support for remote poor areas.

With the consensus of WB, MOET is now reallocating this amount, firstly to buy new textbooks for first graders, second graders, and sixth graders in poor areas.

Mr. Thanh said that all uses of this sum must be approved and monitored by WB and agree with all regulations issued by the Ministry of Finance as well as the state audit system.

By LAM NGUYEN – Translated by Thanh Tam

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