Vietnam's Ministry of Education and Training is spending more than US$12.5 million to extend educational opporrunities to nine of Vietnam's smallest minority groups.
These groups include the O'Du, Qabiao and Sila, which have less than 5,000 members each. The populations are scattered across the northern mountainous provinces of Lao Cai, Ha Giang, Dien Bien, Lai Chau, the north-central province of Nghe An and Kon Tum Province in the Central Highlands.
Few children from the groups are attending schools and most don't make it to higher grade levels due to endemic poverty.
The project will continue until 2015 and will attempt to place all minority children in primary schools--including boarding schools, if necessary. The program will seek to ensure that all students will attend boarding junior high and high schools for ethnic students.
Deputy minister Nguyen Thi Nghia said at a conference on Tuesday that the ministry will build more schools as existing schools at the provinces cannot accomodate current demands.
Nghia said the plan is to have special education programs for children from the groups so that they can work in government offices and help modernize the nation.