Learning through mother tongue language with the relevant contents will ensure the most relevance of education for the development of a child. However, for the ethnic minority children, the curriculum delivered by teachers is the standard national curriculum, which has been developed with the majority Kinh ethnic group predominantly in mind – 100% in Vietnamese language and overly Kinh-centric in its content. The national curriculum does not reflect or respond suitably to the daily lives of targeted children. Thus, facilitating a more relevant education for children that speak more adequately to their needs and experiences and promotes their inclusion and safety is an urgent priority. Supplementary learning contents in local language will enable children to learn in their mother tongues about issues relevant to them.
Therefore, the development of supplementary materials in both Vietnamese and Mong language is one important object of the project “Promoting inclusive and relevant early childhood care and education for ethnic minority and disadvantaged children in Vietnam”, which is jointly conducted by the Consultative Institute for Socio-Economic Development of Rural and Mountainous Areas (CISDOMA) and Aide et Action Vietnam, under the sponsorship of the European Union.
To accomplish this object, CISDOMA has partnered up with the Vietnam Institute of Educational Sciences, Lai Chau Department of Education and Training, Aide et Action Vietnam, teachers from kindergartens and primary schools within the project scope and other stakeholders to build the supplementary materials in both Vietnamese and Mong language for Mong children between the ages of 5-8 in the project area.
Based on field assessments and consultations, 5 topics have been chosen because they respond to the local context.
By October 12/2016, the bilingual supplementary material has been completed and approved by Lai Chau Department of Education – Training to put into teaching, integrating in extracurricular activities of the pupils. Designed in both forms of color stories and video, the materials provide pupils with the knowledge and skills focused on 05 contextualized topics, including: Gender Equality, Children’s Rights, Indigenous Culture and Folk Games, Life Skills and Ensuring Safe Living Environment, and Disaster Preparedness Skills.
As to be taught in schools, this set of material will help the children to acquire the knowledge and practical skills to their daily lives, to enrich the curriculum for the local kindergartens and primary schools. Particularly, the lessons collected in this material set come from the true situations and the specific culture in the locality as well as the community’s folk games. The teaching and learning of these contents will also help to preserve and promote indigenous knowledge and traditional culture of the community.