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Developing STEM education for girls in Vietnam

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Vietnam, the latest country to join Strengthening STEM Curricula for Girls in Africa and Asia and the Pacific –Phase 1, hosted a national workshop March 27 -31 2017, to address critical questions including:
  • Why is science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education important for the sustainable development of Vietnam?
  • Why gender-responsive STEM education?
  • How to mainstream gender-responsive STEM into practice (including policy, curriculum, pedagogy, teacher training and professional development)?

More than 50 participants from Vietnamese national organizations (Ministry of Education and Training (MOET)), the Vietnam Institute of Educational Sciences (VNIES), other ministries relevant to STEM education and gender, UNESCO, UNICEF, national and international organizations (Care International, CBM, the British Council, the Asian Development Bank, World Bank), the private sector and civil society, attended. The workshop focused on policy dialogue, capacity building, and partner consultation meetings.  Participants used ‘Training Tools for Curriculum Development: a Resource Pack for Gender-Responsive STEM Education,’ developed by Malaysian officials and IBE-UNESCO in collaboration with various experts from STEM and gender-related fields and training was led by Malaysian officials.

This built on the programme commenced in 2015, when IBE-UNESCO and the Ministry of Education (MOE) of Malaysia launched 'Strengthening STEM Curricula for Girls in Africa and Asia and the Pacific- Phase I’ funded by Malaysia Funds-in-Trust. Malaysia has shown significant success in gender equality in STEM education with 57 per cent of women obtaining science degrees and 50 per cent of computer science degrees, and as a result, it is keen to share its experiences and best practices. The main objective of Phase I has been to strengthen gender-responsive STEM education, including policies, curricula, pedagogy, as well as teacher education and professional development, in Cambodia, Kenya, Nigeria and now, Vietnam.

Workshop objectives:
  • Engage relevant stakeholders including senior officers across the ministries, partners, donors, teachers, evaluators, and experts in curriculum, syllabus, teacher training, teaching and learning resources, to raise awareness on the significance of articulating gender-responsive STEM education and to create a shared vision.
  • Share Malaysian and international expertise on how to mainstream gender-responsive STEM education to develop teaching and learning resources and teaching pedagogies.
  • Develop a concrete action plan for Vietnam to mainstream gender-responsive STEM education into curricula, syllabi, pedagogy, teaching and learning materials by identifying the priorities.
  • Develop concrete strategies to utilize the resource pack for gender-responsive STEM education, with a view to developing contextualized training materials for Vietnam.
  • Explore the opportunities to mobilize resources and partnerships.
 
Workshop agenda:
A preliminary workshop agenda (in English and Vietnamese) included:
  • Global perspectives: Positioning curriculum and learning issues in the 2030 Education Agenda (Mr. Renato Opertti, Senior Programme Manager, IBE-UNESCO)
  • Sharing of Malaysian expertise on STEM girls’ education (Datin Dr. Ng Soo Boon,Deputy Director, Curriculum Development Division MOE Malaysia)
  • Sharing of Malaysia Education Blueprint (MEB) and the STEM initiatives in MEB (Dr Salmah Mohd Salleh, Educational Research and Evaluation Division)
  • Gender sensitivity in the STEM textbooks of Vietnam (MA. Tran Thi Huong Giang, VNIES)
  • Position of STEM in schools in Vietnam: Reality (MA. Duong Thị Thu Huong, VNIES)
  • Roundtable group discussion (panellists: STEM curriculum expert, VNIES; Ms. Nhung, Tran Thi Phuong, UNESCO Hanoi; Vietnam’s Women Union; Ms Dinh Vu, Sao Nam Education Center; Ministry of Science and Technology; Prof. Chu Cam Tho, Pedagogical University; Ministry of Labor, War, Invalids, & Social Welfare).
 
Please follow us on Twitter @IBE_UNESCO and @OperttiRenato for latest updates on the workshop and other STEM updates.

Why STEM education for girls?
STEM education is a critical condition for sustainable development and participatory citizenship. Women’s involvement in science and technology not only stimulates innovation, but also benefits their social engagement and domestic work (for example, agriculture).

Women’s under-representation in the field of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) is a worldwide issue. For example, only 14% of women entering higher education choose science-related fields, compared to 39% of men among the OECD countries in 2012, while in the USA only 0.4% of high-school girls choose computer science (2016).

Additional information
If you would like to learn more on this project, please follow the links below or contact:
Mr. Renato Opertti, Senior Programme Manager r.opertti@unesco.org
Ms. Hyekyung Kang, Junior Consultant on STEM h.kang2@unesco.org

Latest news:
http://un.org.vn/en/unesco-agencypresscenter1-100/4388-viet-nam-takes-action-towards-stem-education-for-sustainable-development.html
http://giaoducthoidai.vn/giao-duc/phat-trien-giao-duc-stem-co-hoi-giao-d... (attached in English)

http://www.ibe.unesco.org/sites/default/files/resources/factsheet-malaysiastem.pdf
http://www.ibe.unesco.org/en/activity/strengthening-stem-curricula-girls-africa-asia-and-pacific
http://www.ibe.unesco.org/en/news/cambodia-policy-dialogue-and-working-sessions-infusing-stem-education-policies-and-curricula
http://www.ibe.unesco.org/en/news/stem-workshop-held-malaysia-focus-gender
 

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