World Bank lends Vietnam $150 mil for education reforms

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The World Bank on Thursday signed Vietnam loans worth US$150 million for the country to implement its higher education reforms, and to make more 5-year-old children ready for school.

One third of the loans will be used by Vietnam Higher Education Development Policy Operations to support the implementation of policies designed to strengthen governance, financing and quality of higher education.

The rest will be given to the Vietnam School Readiness Promotion Project which works as a preparation step for children entering primary education, especially those vulnerable to not succeeding in a school environment, through expanding full-day preschool enrollments and improving preschool quality.

Victoria Kwakwa, World Bank Country Director for Vietnam, said in a press release that the loans, which come from the International Development Association, the World Bank Group's concessional lending window for low income countries, are to help raise the country's economic competitiveness, as eductation improvement has been set an important part in its Socio-Economic Development Strategy for 2011-2020.

Vietnam's literacy rate is at 95 percent with 95.3 percent of children going to primary school at their right age, 6, according to the General Statistics Office.

Figures from the office in April 2011 also showed that 26.9 percent of the population attending college or universities but only more than half at their right ages.

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