World Bank-funded project to improve access to higher education

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The World Bank has approved a grant of US$3 million for a project to help poor girls and boys in Vietnam access high school eduction.

It said in a press release issued Monday (May 24) that the project will benefit around 7,500 students in 11 provinces. The students will have their tuition fees in the high schools, including private schools, subsidized by the project.

Participating schools will receive the subsidy only after they deliver satisfactory services to the students, as evidenced by their attendance and moving to the next grade, the press release said.

The project is part of the World Bank-administered Global Partnership on Output-Based Aid (GPOBA) and will be implemented by the non-profit East Meets West Foundation.

Vietnam has made significant progresses in education over the past 20 years with nearly universal enrollment in primary and secondary schools, and above 50 percent of students of high school ages enrolling for classes.

However, there are not enough places for all promising students, the bank said.

Access rates vary from region to region, and are usually lower for girls as well as students from ethnic minorities and low-income households, it said.

Drop-out rates among these groups are high, often because students are unable to pay tuition fees or need to work to support their families, it added.

Founded in 2003, GPOBA works to develop output-based aid (OBA) approaches across a variety of sectors including infrastructure, health, and education. Its current donors include the UK's Department for International Development and the Australian Agency for International Development.

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