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Vietnam - Researching child wellbeing and involvement
Action research: Enhancing child wellbeing and involvement among disadvantaged and ethnic minority pre-schoolers (3-5 years old)
Thai Nguyen City and Vo Nhai districts (Thai Nguyen province), Nam Giang district (Quang Nam province)
December 2015 – June 2016
€ 25,000
Education for Development/Kansen voor Kinderen
Early childhood education
Professional development of teachers; equity

Research shows that 25 per cent of Vietnam’s 5-year-old children are vulnerable, and that 50 per cent of Vietnamese 5-year-olds are at risk of vulnerability, in at least one of the developmental domains (physical health and wellbeing, social competence, emotional maturity, …). The percentage of children not ready for school is highest in children from ethnic minorities or disadvantaged backgrounds as they face barriers (socio-economic, linguistic, cultural, …) that affect their wellbeing and involvement, and thus their learning process. In Nam Giang district, the proportion of ethnic minority groups is 95 per cent, and the poverty rate among these groups is 82 per cent.

Preschool teachers have the responsibility to ensure high levels of wellbeing and involvement among all children, but are insufficiently capacitated to support those preschoolers (3-5 years-old) in the development towards their full potential.


Preschool teachers support the wellbeing and involvement of all children, particularly ethnic minority children.

  • Education for Development/Kansen voor Kinderen
  • Quang Nam provincial Department of Education and Training
  • Nam Giang district Bureau of Education and Training
  • Teacher training institute of Quang Nam University

The project centred on the professional development of preschool teachers of four selected schools to become ‘model schools’ in the district regarding the observation and scaling of wellbeing and involvement among children, as well as the documentation and development of appropriate actions.

The project enhanced the selected teachers’ knowledge and skills on:

  • child observation,
  • barriers to learning and participation,
  • and action points for experiential education.

The capacity development trajectory chronologically introduced these contents to the teachers and ensured linkages with direct and authentic experiences through implementation in their classroom. During the action research, schools were coached by the district Bureau of Education and Training, lecturers from the provincial teacher training institute and VVOB Vietnam.

The results of this action research have been shared widely in and outside of Vietnam to enable stakeholders to learn from it and replicate it. The research provided a strong case for the process-oriented child-monitoring system to be implemented on a larger scale in Vietnamese preschools. VVOB is now implementing a five-year programme in three provinces in central Vietnam, building on the results of this action research.