The phase will be implemented in Cao Bang, Kon Tum, and Ninh Thuan provinces, aiming to empower ethnic youth, especially girls and young women, in boarding secondary schools and neighboring communities to overcome stereotypes and to voice and act on their dreams, hopes, and aspirations in education.

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Speaking at the event, Justine Sass, Chief of the Section of Education for Inclusion and Gender Equality of UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, said that education can be a true source of empowerment when it addresses the gender-based barriers, stigma, and discrimination that hold learners back from fulfilling their right to education and future life, work and leadership opportunities.

“We must harness education's power to unlock the potential of learners in all of their diversity and transform educational institutions to achieve just, equal, and inclusive societies,” she shared.

UNESCO Representative to Vietnam Christian Manhart said that the project is expected to contribute to the Vietnamese government's new 10-year Education Development Strategic Plan, the Strategy for Ethnic Development, and the national commitment to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, especially Goal 4 on Education and Goal 5 on gender equality.

The first phase of the project was implemented from 2019 to 2022 in 12 districts of three provinces - Ha Giang, Ninh Thuan, and Soc Trang, reaching about 16,300 students including over 8,000 girls.

Across the 24 beneficiary schools, among ethnic minority learners, drop-out rates dropped from 3.8% to 2.9%, and transition rates to upper-secondary rose from 69.7% to 76.7%.

Over 2,130 teachers and educational administrators were trained on gender-responsive school counseling.

Furthermore, 120 ethnic women and youth joined entrepreneurship training courses and received support through the Women's Union in communes.

Source: VNA